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One Billion Rising Around the World

Updated on December 26, 2013

A Worldwide Campaign to End Violence Against Women

On February 14, 2013, people from every country of the world will come together to bring awareness to the problem of violence against women and girls. One out of every three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime, meaning well over one billion women will be impacted. One Billion Rising is a campaign to highlight this problem and bring an end to it. All over the world, women and men will come together to dance in protest on Valentine's Day, 2013.

Please join us for this global event. Strike! Dance! Rise!

(One Billion Rising logo provided by One Billion Rising)

one billion rising - stop violence
one billion rising - stop violence

What is One Billion Rising?

Dance flash mobs around the world to end violence

One Billion Rising (OBR) will be the largest day of action in the history of V-Day, a global activist movement created to end violence against women and girls. The organization celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.

V-Day was started by playwright Eve Ensler. "When we started V-Day 14 years ago, we had the outrageous idea that we could end violence against women," Ensler says. "Now, we are both stunned and thrilled to see that this global action is truly escalating and gaining force, with union workers, parliament members, celebrities, and women of all backgrounds coming forward to join the campaign. When we come together on February 14, 2013 to demand an end to violence against women and girls it will be a truly global voice that will rise up," according to a press release from the OBR website.

At least one OBR event is currently planned in every country of the world. Most will be dance mobs.

V-Day chose dance as the medium for the message because, "Dancing insists we take up space. It has no set direction but we go there together. It's dangerous, joyous, sexual, holy, disruptive. It breaks the rules. It can happen anywhere at anytime with anyone and everyone. It's free. No corporation can control it. It joins us and pushes us to go further. It's contagious and it spreads quickly. It's of the body. It's transcendent," says the One Billion Rising website.

Participants in most countries will be dancing to "Break the Chain," a song written by Tena Clark with music by Tena Clark and Tim Heintz, and a special choreography created by Debbie Allen. Some countries, however, will be dancing to tunes in their own language.

All of them, however, will be spreading the same message of ending violence against women and girls.

(Image credit: Kmiragaya |


A Message from Eve Ensler, the Founder of V-Day - The playwright and activist may be best known for "The Vagina Monologues"

Eve Ensler is the American playwright, performer, feminist and activist who started V-Day with the goal of ending violence against women and girls. Her best known play, "The Vagina Monologues," earned her the Obie Award in 1996 for 'Best New Play' and has since been performed in over 140 countries and translated into 48 languages. Annual productions of the play raise funds and awareness for V-Day. So far, the organization has raised more than $80 million, educated millions about the issue of violence against women, funded anti-violence programs, reopened shelters and funded safe houses throughout the world, according to Wikipedia.

A week before Valentine's Day 2013, Eve Ensler made the following message for everyone involved in the massive One Billion Rising effort.

1 in 3 women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime

"Break the Chain" is the One Billion Rising Anthem - See the "Break the Chain" dance performed around the world

Break the Chain" is the official "anthem" of One Billion Rising and will be the dance performed around the world in most countries. Written by Tena Clark, and sung by V-Girl activists and singers from New York, the song encourages everyone to:

Dance cause I love

Dance cause I dream

Dance cause I've had enough

Dance to stop the screams

Dance to break the rules

Dance to stop the pain

Dance to turn it upside down

Its time to break the chain

Here are wonderful examples of dancers around the world performing the "Break the Chain" choreography created by Debbie Allen. The final video features Tena Clark's song with different choreography.

Click any video thumbnail to watch dancers rising around the world.

"I never understood why violence vs women is a women's issue. We don't rape ourselves." - Eve Ensler

Learn the "Break the Chain" Dance - Get step-by-step instructions for the "Break the Chain" choreography

If you want to join a One Billion Rising event, this instructional video can help you learn the choreography.

I'll Be Rising in Sacramento, California

Why I'm rising

I'm not a dancer. I can't do the Gangnam Style dance, and I never learned the Macarena. The last time I actually attempted to learn an actual dance routine was in my 8th grade gym class, and my less-than-inspiring abilities prompted my gym teacher to note on my report card that even though the dance was hard for me, at least I tried. That was all she could say about my dance skills - I tried.

But when I heard about One Billion Rising, I knew I would try harder. I will do whatever it takes to get my two left feet going in the same direction on February 14.

I am rising because I know too many women who have been raped. I am rising because I know too many women who have been beaten. I am rising because I know too many women who have been hurt.

I know women who have been raped by a father, stepfather, uncle or grandfather... women who have been date raped... a woman who was raped at knifepoint by an intruder who broke into her ground-level apartment... a woman who was raped by a school principal... a woman who was drugged at a bar, kidnapped, beaten, gang raped, and barely escaped with her life.

I have seen these women I love struggle to regain their lives, and some have come close to losing the fight. One was unconscious in the hospital for more than a day after she attempted to kill herself by overdosing. I don't think she ever would have been in that place of self-hatred if she hadn't been raped. It engulfed her like a black plague.

And in all but one of these cases, the perpetrator was never arrested or tried. Most of the incidents weren't even reported because the women were afraid to tell anyone for a very long time.

We need a world in which women are not afraid of being shamed and ridiculed for telling the truth. We need a wold in which men (or the beasts that masquerade as real men) are held accountable for their crimes. We need a world in which all people are safe from harm.

So on February 14, 2013, my two left feet and I will be rising at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. Wherever you are in the world, I hope you will join us!

(Image of California State Capitol building by Lisa Howard)

Is Dancing a Good Way to Protest? - What do you think?

Do you think a worldwide dance flash mob will help raise awareness of violence against women and girls?

Yes, dancing is a great way to raise awareness of the issue!

Yes, dancing is a great way to raise awareness of the issue!

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    • ismeedee 4 years ago

      Yes, I like it!!!! It challenges the conventional stereotypes of what it means to 'be a protestor'. That is, people standing up for what they believe, NOT troublemakers!

    • Malu Couttolenc 4 years ago

      Absolutely! It is a nice and pacific way. I'm glad so many people are rising to end violence against women

    • Sharon Bellissimo 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      Absolutely, this is an event that will bring people together to raise awareness in the universal language of dance.

    • CCGAL 4 years ago

      One billion rising up to dance is pretty hard to ignore. I think that this event is going to open many eyes that aren't aware of the problems faced by women around the world. What happens next is going to depend on how many people keep their eyes open and then do something. Every little bit helps.

    No, there are more effective means of solving the problem.

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      Learn More About Violence Against Women and Girls

      Information and resources to use

      One Billion Rising is a one-day event that can help raise awareness about violence against women and girls, but it is just a beginning. For the event to have maximum impact, people need to educate themselves and learn what else they can do to help change laws, attitudes and behavior.

      These pages have been written by various authors who work on Squidoo and have more resources for you.

      Arise Against Abuse
      Be it child abuse, domestic violence, rape, animal cruelty, bullying, or hate crimes-abuse must not be tolerated nor ignored-for when abuse rears...

      Healing From Sexual Abuse
      In my quest in how to recover from the sexual abuse I experienced as a child I came across many good websites, blogs, books, forums, etc. that were very help...

      Child Abuse and Child Murder
      Child abuse, child murder and child genocide is rampant in every community. WHY? Its hard to lose a child under any circumstance but unwanted children or tho...

      Blue Ribbon Against Child Abuse~Does Anybody Really Hear Them?
      How do you start a page like this when there is so much information to be had, and clearly it's not getting through to the people who can make a difference. ...

      Quotes for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Abuse
      Quotes for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Abuse A good quote can be a source of strength as we heal and grow away from an abusive situation. I find that ...

      Domestic Violence Continues even after Leaving and How to move on for Good
      Domestic Violence or Domestic Abuse, no matter what form it comes in, Physical abuse emotional abuse or Verbal Abuse is not acceptable, and you deserve bette...

      Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)
      What is Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)? Who gets custody of the child in a high conflict divorce? The term 'parental alienation syndrome' refers to compl...

      Stop Human Trafficking
      The problem of human trafficking is much bigger than most people think. Sadly, not only is the problem growing all over the world, but most Americans would n...

      Thanks for visiting!

      Will You Be Participating in One Billion Rising? - Please sign the guestbook

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        • LisaAuch1 profile image

          Lisa Auch 4 years ago from Scotland

          I did not know about this! I will now :) thankyou for highlighting this important issue, and supporting woman against violence

        • LisaDH profile image

          LisaDH 4 years ago

          @anonymous: Thank you, Dave. Your support is appreciated!

        • LisaDH profile image

          LisaDH 4 years ago

          @sharonbellis: Glad you were able to find a variety of risings near you. Hope you can recruit some others to go along with you!

        • profile image

          anonymous 4 years ago

          Lisa, thanks for sharing this information with us. I do not know about One Billion Rising until my visit here today. What a great idea! There is not an event in my town and I won't be able to travel to one, but I will be with you all in spirit on the fourteenth.

        • sharonbellis profile image

          Sharon Bellissimo 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

          I am looking for local events now and there are many to chose from. Thanks for posting the event locator. This is a very informative lens on a extremely important subject. Thank you.

        • LisaDH profile image

          LisaDH 4 years ago

          @HealthfulMD: Will do, Kirsti! :-)

        • HealthfulMD profile image

          Kirsti A. Dyer 4 years ago from Northern California

          Lisa be sure to dance joyfully for those of us who can't dance, for whatever reasons. Blessed.

        • LisaDH profile image

          LisaDH 4 years ago

          @Ruthi: I agree - it's a great way to spend a part of Valentine's Day. Have a wonderful rising in Ohio!

        • LisaDH profile image

          LisaDH 4 years ago

          @CrossCreations: Thanks for the blessing. Have a great time on Thursday at your flash mob!

        • LisaDH profile image

          LisaDH 4 years ago

          @HeatherM2: Glad you were able to find an event near you, Heather.

        • LisaDH profile image

          LisaDH 4 years ago

          @CCGAL: Dancing in your heart is fully appreciated, Janelle! :-)

        • CCGAL profile image

          CCGAL 4 years ago

          I didn't really understand what this was until I read your words and watched the videos. Now I understand. I don't think I'm going to be physically well enough to go and dance, but I will surely be dancing in my heart and wanting a big shift in our reality as a result of this event and the awareness that it's spreading.

        • HeatherM2 profile image

          HeatherM2 4 years ago

          We do have one close to where I live. What a great cause, and a great lens Lisa - I had not heard of this before.

        • CrossCreations profile image

          Carolan Ross 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

          Fabulous cause and excellent tribute to One Billion Rising!!! I never was much into traditional Valentine's Day anyway, and found a Flash Mob Gathering in my town thanks to your links. What better way to celebrate women and love, to speak UP against domestic violence and abuse. *blessed*

        • profile image

          Ruthi 4 years ago

          Lisa, thanks to your link I have found a One Billion Rising event in nearby Columbus, Ohio to attend. I cannot think of a better way to spend a part of Valentine's Day ... Dancing for freedom from violence against women ... Now, that is a showing of Love around the world!

          Bless you for helping to "Break the Chain".