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February 11, 2013

Local gathering supports worldwide V-Day

PLATTSBURGH — The goal is that 1 billion people will raise their voices in one concentrated effort to raise awareness of violence against women.

Chris Hobson Whalen said she would be happy if just a few people are able to attend a local gathering being held at Trinity Park in Plattsburgh on Valentine’s Day, but she hopes the North Country will join in the V-Day activity.

“Basically, we’re gathering on February 14 in support of the worldwide initiative,” Hobson Whalen said of One Billion Rising, a global movement in support of all women who have faced violence. “It’s an opportunity to play music and dance to raise the vibrations of the world to end violence on women.”

An estimated 177 countries across the world are expected to participate in One Billion Rising, an effort being promoted by Eve Ensler, author of “The Vagina Monologues,” a series of monologues covering such issues as love, sex and rape.

ATROCITIES

According to the One Billion Rising website, 1 in 3 women on the planet will at one time in their lives be raped or beaten.

“One billion women being violated is an atrocity,” the website states. “One billion women dancing is a revolution.”

“It’s time to stop this,” Hobson Whalen said of the violence and injustice that women face. “We can’t afford to leave half the world’s population out of being healthy, happy and safe. We will never proceed to a more wonderful world if we continue to ignore what is happening.”

The event is also open to men who want to help spread that message and to children, whose future, organizers hope, will be free of violence toward women, she added.

“For me, it’s a personal transformation. I am now more aware of what is going on in the world; it’s a way to get involved, to help shift the world consciousness and end the horrific things that continue to happen.

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