One billion rising

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Ekklesia reports on a flash mob by One Billion Rising in the Geneva Ecumenical Centre:

A flash mob erupted in the cafeteria at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland, on 14 February 2013, as part of the One Billion Rising initiative.

At 12.30pm people scattered throughout the lunch crowd suddenly left their tables and broke into dance. Twenty dancers, wearing bright pink and purple, performed to a song condemning violence against women.


The lyrics of ‘Break the Chain’, written by Tena Clark and Tim Heintz, call attention to the fact that one billion of the world’s three billion women and girls will be raped or attacked in their lifetime. The song ends with a stirring call for people to rise up and stop the violence.

Similar dance events were held in countries from Australia to Lebanon as part of the One Billion Rising campaign created by V-Day, a global activist movement that promotes creative events to increase awareness about violence against women and to re-energize anti-violence organisations.

The event at the Ecumenical Centre, which is home to global church organisations and non-governmental organisations, was organised by the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC).

Dora Arce-Valentín who heads WCRC’s Gender Justice Programme explains that the intent was to raise awareness of the urgent need for men and women to work together to change attitudes that contribute to rape, abuse and assault of women and girls.

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