On February 14 2013, over 2,000 people filled Melbourne’s Fed Square; rising up and dancing a resounding ‘NO’ to the violence and exploitation experienced by 1 in 3 women in their lifetime.
We danced in solidarity with millions across the globe – all part of a grassroots uprisings dedicated to bringing attention to the issues underpinning the mistreatment of women and girls in their communities.
Being visible, raising one’s voice, embodying protest through dance – these actions were revolutionary for many participants and took unimaginable courage in many cases.
An event evolved into a movement.
Here in Melbourne, we have co-created a dynamic, supportive and empowering community of people dedicated to raising awareness, fostering empowerment and calling out for change.
This year, in 2014 – we Rise for Justice!
Our goal is to bring attention to the poor outcomes experienced by women as they try to navigate complex legal and political systems in their struggle to overcome violence and exploitation.
Women deserve to be believed when they report rape, harassment, abuse and exploitation.
Women deserve to have their needs and realities taken into consideration when laws are passed that have a direct impact on their reproductive, parental, financial and legal rights.
Community and political attitudes towards violence in the domestic sphere need to change, in recognition of how many women are victim to violence, rape and abuse in the supposed safety of their own homes.
This call to action and invitation to dance our commitment to creating change is resonating across the community.
Supporters lending their voice to our campaign come from the political, military, entertainment and community sectors. We are thrilled to include Hon. Governor General Quentin Bryce, Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Hon. Mary Wooldridge MP, Chief Commissioner Ken Lay, Natasha Stott Despoja, Faustina Agolley, Nicole da Silva and Claire Hooper as endorsers of our vision for a society in which respectful relationships flourish, women can be free of fear and justice is accessible for all.