A demonstration against sexual violence is happening today in St. Paul.
1 Billion Rising is the global initiative the Capella Centre is taking part in to end sexual violence against women, which involves a Flash Mob dance at noon at the St. Paul downtown park.
Executive director assistant Leonie Amyotte said the term 1 Billion Rising refers to the stats that show 1 in 3 women will be beaten or raped in their lifetime.
“In countries across the world, we rise to shine a light on the rampant impunity and injustice survivors must face. In many countries, men doing this face no repercussions or nothing at all. It’s all OK,” said Amyotte.
“We rise through dance to express joy and community and celebrate the fact that women have not been defeated by this violence. And we rise to show that we are determined to create a new kind of consciousness, where violence will be resisted until it is unthinkable
The demonstration started around the world on Valentine’s Day in 2012, but this is the first time the Capella Centre is joining in.
On a day meant to celebrate love and relationship, it’s an opportunity to shed light on a sensitive issue that is not going away.
The recent provincial study released on sexual violence revealed almost half of Albertans have experienced sexual violence in their lifetimes.
“Statistically, they hold true pretty well everywhere. Even though we think, you know, not in my backyard. It is in your backyard,” said Amyotte.
The dance is coordinated by the St. Paul and District Arts Foundation with Anna Pratch acting at the choreographer and Lynda Young as the director.
“They were able to choreograph a simple dance. There is a song that is universal for this that was put out, so that’s the song we will be using. They’ve put out a few steps for us. And it doesn’t have to be anything organized, as long as you go out there and show your joy, show your celebration, that women are still surviving.
“I encourage everybody to come out and join us.”
The Capella Centre is women’s shelter in St. Paul where individuals and families can escape from domestic violence, abuse and family violence.