Women, dancing, and a sea of red- this is how we spent our Valentine’s Day morning. One Billion Rising is a worldwide event, held on Valentine’s Day every year, aiming to bring an end to violence against women. For the V Day Byron Bay event, hundreds of women and their allies gathered on Main Beach in a demonstration that was empowering, invigorating and truly inspiring to be a part of. We danced, we yelled, and showed the community and the world that we believe now is the time for a revolution. It was a true showing of women standing up and owning their experiences, showing that we are not defined by the statistics of violence against women that plague us.
One Billion Rising is an event founded in 2012 by activist, feminist and playwright Eve Ensler. The movement calls for a revolution, and as each year passes it gains more and more traction worldwide. The revolution demands vision, community, trust, commitment, courage, belief, hope and love. The hundreds of women gathered for V Day Byron Bay were loud, vivacious and empowered to demand the respect that women around the world are so often neglected. One Billion Rising unites people globally in the dream of a world devoid of exploitation, discrimination and violence.
The most poignant part of the morning? When a show of hands was asked for the question: have you, or anyone you know, been a victim of sexual assault or violent? A sea of hands rose into the air. We are all affected. All women know of someone, or have personally fallen victim to violence at some stage in their lives. The women at V Day Byron Bay as well as the women around the world rising together, is a collective statement demanding now is the time for change.
One Billion Women assaulted is an atrocity, one billion women rising is a revolution.