One billion is the estimated number of girls and women across our planet who will be beaten or raped in their lifetime. That's a sobering statistic -- one in three girls and women.One Billion Rising …
One billion is the estimated number of girls and women across our planet who will be beaten or raped in their lifetime. That's a sobering statistic -- one in three girls and women.
One Billion Rising is a global revolution in consciousness to break this chain of violence. Launched on Valentine's Day 2012, the global mass action has invited all people to come together and rise up in solidarity for a world free from oppression in all forms.
Thursday (Feb. 14) from 3 to 5:30 p.m., Taos will join the global One Billion Rising movement for a free public gathering at Taos Plaza. Organizers include women from Community Against Violence (CAV) and DJ Julia Daye.
While the topic may feel heavy, the plaza gathering is designed to be hopeful and uplifting, Daye assured me. She said her favorite thing about the event is the coming together of the community.
"To see the incredible numbers that come out every single year and join each other in the excitement and readiness to move our world and dance our world into a better place -- that's so uplifting," Daye said.
"On February 14th, we rise in the vastness of ourselves alongside our sisters, daughters, mothers, husbands, brothers, fathers, sons, friends and neighbors--and alongside millions of others in 200 countries across the globe," Daye added.
The Taos event includes interactive stations that will offer practical tools for addressing violence in our lives, such as self-care, letter writing and self-defense. In addition, the day includes a flash-mob dance experience to the song "Break the Chain," poetry and a dance party with DJ Julia Daye.
Asked what she hopes people will get out of coming to the Taos gathering, Daye said, "I hope that people will feel that they have a voice and a place in the moving forward of this world, and also in their own personal lives. A lot of people who come out really do deal with violence in their own lives behind closed doors. I want people to know they are not alone and … there's so much we can do."
Each year a particular theme has emerged from the global organizers of One Billion Rising. For 2019, the movement asserts on its website (onebillionrising.org), "Along with sexual and physical violence, we must also look at systemic violence in economic, political, sociocultural, environmental and ideological spheres."
"As we continue to rise to end violence against women - it is imperative now for us to expand our understanding of women's oppression and exploitation in the context of capitalism, colonization, racism, imperialism, environmental plunder and war. We have been compartmentalized and divided for too long," the statement continues. "Our Rising must now connect our specific oppression to the common universal humanity that binds us all. This is no less than a way of life, a way of seeing, a way of being in the world. It is not one day that we rise, but every day that this consciousness must rise in all we do."
Lorenne Gavish, one of the Taos organizers from CAV, emphasized that the event is about solidarity.
"One Billion Rising is an event meant to bring awareness to a rampant issue in our world, but more than this- it is an event for the world to see, hear and feel the power and unity of cis- and transgender women, and girls moving as one, across the globe," Gavish said. "This day, above all else, is about joy, love and rising up together."
Gavish told me that CAV has been involved with organizing the Taos One Billion Rising event for each of the six years it has occurred. This is the seventh. CAV is a nonprofit organization that provides free and confidential services to both children and adults who have survived domestic violence or sexual assault. Services include emergency shelter and transitional housing, legal and medical advocacy, counseling and support groups and a 24-hour crisis line at (575) 758-9888.
In addition, CAV provides a yearlong re-education program for those who have used force against others. The CHANGES program for men has been running for 10 years and is led by facilitator Kevin McCourt. A program for women, called Women Who Use Force, is run by a female facilitator. Participants of the state-approved programs are referred by the courts, the Children, Youth and Families Department or other agencies as well as self-referrals.
The office number for CAV is (575) 758-8082, and more information is available at TaosCAV.org.
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