The 14th of February is commonly known as Valentines Day and it brings an outpouring of love and romance, usually at great expense and if nothing else helps keep florists in business for another year. This year however it is also something so much more. All around the world people are stepping up on V Day to demonstrate that there will be no tolerance of violence towards women.
So what is V Day? It is a global movement that is working to end the violence against women. It is now active in over 180 countries across the world and is doing some fantastic things to both educate and support activities that will bring a focus on the terrible statistics and hopefully drive behaviours of change in all facets of society. I have written about this before so it will be no surprise to my regular readers that this is a cause close to my heart.
One of the most public events is 1 Billion Rising which has been taking place all around the world and I had the opportunity to join in a flash mob at St Marys Cathedral in Sydney with about 300 other men and women. (It has been suggested by some of my friends that I would have done it just to dance in public which may be true).
In their own words ONE BILLION RISING IS:
- A global strike
- An invitation to dance
- A call to men and women to refuse to participate in the status quo until rape and rape culture ends
- An act of solidarity, demonstrating to women the commonality of their struggles and their power in numbers
- A refusal to accept violence against women and girls as a given
The people were all untied in their joy of the moment and the power of expression in the dance. It was a collective of like minded Mums, Dads, Daughters, Sons, Nieces, Nephews and much more all committed to stand tall and reject violence against women in all it’s forms. It was joyous and empowering and took pride in celebrating all that was good and all that could be done if we stood tall together.
If you couldn’t get to an event you can still take steps to reinforce the goals and objectives of the movement.
For the men out there you can:
- Take the White Ribbon Pledge
- Take steps to ensure you are always supportive of women and don’t support or tacitly encourage violence against women
- Empower the women in your life to be confident and to take charge of their lives
For the women out there you can:
- Celebrate your beauty and power
- Refuse to be defined by a misogynist view of your role in life
- Stand strong together to empower all women
No matter who you are, no matter what you do V Day is an opportunity to help us all rise up against against violence in all its forms, both overt and covert, and to take that with you every single day of the year until the violence is no more. It won’t happen overnight (although it would be nice to think so) but given time and effort we can make violence history.
Let’s all stand strong, stand together and make it happen!