Date nights, flowers and chocolate aren’t the only things going on this Valentines Day. For the last fifteen years now, the One Billion and Rising Campaign has put on a worldwide flashmob to protest violence against women. This year, the event is taking place in over 182 cities, including Florence.
This event in Florence has the aim of raising awareness on violence against women, a global problem that is also present in Italy. Statistics show that one in every three women will be either raped or beaten throughout their lifetime. While this is a sobering statistic particularly in a first-world country, the problem is certainly not unique to Italy.
Domestic violence affects a staggering number of women worldwide: one in three women in the world will be raped or beaten during her life, about 1 billion women, a figure that the One Billion Rising campaign (www.onebillionrising.org) rightly signals as an atrocity.
The Flashmob took place in piazza della Repubblica at 3pm, the same time it took place in some 182 cities across the world. Spectators were told to wear black with pink or red, and they had to learn the dance before the event. A recital by men opened the dancing section.
Florence-based women’s crisis centre, Artemisia, was on-site accepting donations to help support their initiatives.
The event, organized in collaboration with the Global Theatre Project, the American consulate, the Equal Opportunities Department of the City of Florence and the Robert Kennedy Foundation, aims to involve those of all nationalities in Florence, including the many American students studying here.
The One Billion Rising campaign was started by activist and playwright Eve Ensler, famous for her play The Vagina Monologues. February 14 marks the 15th anniversary of her V-day movement, an initiative that uses plays, films and festivals to raise money and awareness to benefit female victims of violence and sexual abuse.
For more information:
One Billion Rising: www.onebillionrising.org
Florence flash mob: http://tinyurl.com/arsjwpu
V-day movement: www.vday.org
The Global Theatre Project: www.theglobaltheatreproject.org