|UWI students host ‘One Billion Rising’ on V-Day |
Saturday, February 16 2013
More than one billion women in the world have been victims of physical or sexual abuse, according to the United Nations.
To be in solidarity with those women who have been abused, students of the University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine, hosted “One Billion Rising.”
“One Billion Rising” is an event to mark the 15th anniversary of V-day, which is a movement commemorated on February 14 - Valentine’s Day - to end violence against women.
The V-day, was created by ‘Vagina Monolog’ writer Eve Ensler, because of the huge response she received from her play.
The V-day Organisation issued a statement saying V-day is significant because “aside from the pain and strength we hear survival stories, the thing that resounds across cultures and geographies are the issues of indifference of authorities, the familiar instinct of denial, and the lack of public outrage about the violence that millions of women experience every day.”
Samantha Heerailal passionately stated that hosting “One Billion Rising” was something she needed to do.
“My friend posted a video about One Billion Rising, and I know women who have been assaulted, and they don’t have the support. I hope this event would help these women make the first to escape their abuse,” she said.
Heerailal invited Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) like the Rape Crisis Centre, Trinidad and Tobago’s Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the Husband’s Club, to support the women who would be in need.
The mantra of “One Billion Rising” was to “Strike! Dance! Rise!” against those who abuse women, and this was exactly what happened.
Amanda Leonce, a student who was present at the event said “We danced for our sisters who could not dance for themselves. I dance for myself, because I have been harassed by men. I strike, I dance, I rise, because I do not want to live in a world where it is acceptable for anyone to abuse a woman.”
Chelsea Warren, a 10-year-old St Augustine Girls’ High School student, read a poem she wrote about her hero Malala Yousafzai, the 12-year-old-girl who was shot by the Taliban for promoting education among girls.
Warren held her hand high when she said she would rise against those who would want to oppress women.