South Okanagan  

One Billion Rising in South Okanagan

V-Day Oliver-Osoyoos is inviting all women and girls and those who love them to come out to dance, walk and demand an end to violence on Thursday.

The gathering is to recognize One Billion Rising, an event taking place worldwide on Feb. 14, that calls on men and women to refuse to participate in the status quo until rape and rape culture ends.

Silvia Badger, owner of Medici’s Gelateria and Coffee House in Oliver where the event will be held, said she was happy to provide a venue.

“This is for an amazing cause ending violence against women,” she said.

According to statistics on the One Billion Rising website, one in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime.

To end such atrocities, One Billion Rising wants the world to see a showing of collective strength and solidarity across borders.

To show solidarity in Oliver, participants are encouraging everyone to wear black and red clothing.

There will be a raffle draw and Eve Ensler’s “Rising” monologue will be read by Ursula Wick.

Ensler has written a piece which she composed during her recent travels in India. The reading is designed to motivate people to dance.

A “Break the Chain” step dance and other rising music, compiled by Lynn Andersen, will be offered.

“Break the Chain,” the One Billion Rising dance anthem, will be used in flash mobs all over the world.

Door prizes will be provided at the event. All  proceeds will benefit abused women in the South Okanagan through the Desert Sun Counselling and Resource Centre.

The gathering will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. at Medici’s, 522 Fairview Road in Oliver.

Elsewhere in the Okanagan, The South Okanagan Victim Assistance Society, SOVAS, in Penticton is promoting the worldwide event on its Facebook page.

“It’s really important because it brings awareness to violence against women and girls,” said Amberlee Erdmann, resource development coordinator for SOVAS. “When you talk about violence, it makes people more aware of their actions and what is going on around them.”

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