Other Woman

Forget the schmaltz of St Valentine's Day this coming February 14 - there is something far more exciting to do than buying expensive greetings cards.

How would you like to get out to a beach, a park or a rainforest and dance with all the people you love - your partner, your children, your parents and grandparents, your friends and your neighbours? Or just your girlfriends ...

A global movement is being planned for this Valentine's Day. It's called One Billion Rising, and it's a plan to bring people out of their homes to dance against the worldwide rape culture and violence against women.

Originally an initiative of a US women's group, One Billion Rising is an idea whose time has come. The V-Day organisers say:

"There are seven billion people on the planet. Half are women. One third of them are raped or beaten.

"V-Day refuses to watch as more than one billion women experience violence. V-Day is going further now, saying 'no more'.

"We're inviting one billion women and those who love them to walk out, dance, rise up and demand an end to this violence."

Following the terrible stories of rape and murder that manage to get all over the media, and the millions of others that don't, women and men from around the world have planned V-day events from the Scottish borders to the Pacific Islands, from Pakistan to Perth.

Humanity suffers when a woman is violated. From the terrible rape and evisceration of a beautiful young doctor on a Delhi bus, to the hours-long serial gang rape of a near-unconscious girl, by college football players in Steubenville Ohio, (who then filmed themselves laughing and boasting of their crime on YouTube); a Melbourne woman grabbed from the street, raped and murdered in the night; all the female souls that go out and never come back, or go out and come back with psychic wounds that are hard to heal ... people are rising for them.

All Australian capital cities have events planned and there's a beach event at Byron Bay.

Artist Jacqueline King is holding an event at her Dalwood studio. "As a survivor and a woman I'm adding my voice to the project, so please join me for a morning in my glass studio playing with creative ideas or just sitting beneath cool trees sharing experiences with other creatives who wish to join the One Billion Rising project in the Northern Rivers!

"Cuppas, company and music provided, byo snacks and friends..." Jacqui says.

In Lismore on the night of February 14, The Vagina Monologues, stories read by women about the experiences of women, will be on at The Star Court Theatre, with all proceeds going to anti-violence projects for local women's services.

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