Protest against violence to women

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Published: Saturday 14th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Campaigners have gathered in central London to mark One Billion Rising, a global chain of events aimed at combating sexual and domestic violence against women.

Several hundred people, including Labour shadow ministers Yvette Cooper and Seema Malhotra, and prominent backbencher Stella Creasy, gathered at Marble Arch to highlight the plight of one in three women in the world who is beaten or raped.

Drummers and dancers in bright colours kicked off a rally involving dance, speeches and even meditation, symbolically held on Valentine’s Day.

Lynne Franks, the UK co-ordinator of One Billion Rising, said: “We are certainly drawing attention to the issue, particularly in this country of sex abuse of children and vulnerable young people and we are going to be talking about healthy relationships and healthy love with many of our speakers and our performers today.

“We really see this as the start of a national conversation about how do we as individuals, and as communities, change what is going on in our societies, and has obviously been going on for years and years, and how do we make a different kind of society based on healthy love and healthy relationships, through education, community action and so on.”

Those attending the event were encouraged to wear red or pink, and many joined in to dance along with the drummers who kicked off the event.

The global events are using dance “to express joy and community and celebrate the fact that we have not been defeated by this violence”.

Ms Malhotra, the MP for Feltham and Heston and shadow minister for preventing violence against women and girls, said it was important to act as a “voice to those who cannot have their voices heard.

“We want to see change, we want to see change across the world so that women and girls are kept safe in their own homes, and in society,” she said.

“We cannot now turn a blind eye, there can be no cultural excuse that is accepted for violence against women and girls. In the UK alone there were 12 million incidents of domestic violence reported by women last year.

“That is a scale that is unimaginable when you look across the world.”

Published: Saturday 14th February 2015 by The News Editor

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