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Springfield Joins One Billion Rising


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (wggb)– From Brazil to India and Sudan to Indonesia the celebration was a global uprising. One in three women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime and one billion women are survivors of that violence. Today communities all over the world celebrated the hope for an end to domestic violence in a movement called One Billion Rising.

Created by Eve Ensler, a writer and the founder of V-Day a non-profit that seeks to end domestic violence, One Billion Rising brought the world together to join the fight to end violence towards women. And today at noon, Springfield joined in that fight at Tower Square.

With music, poems and performances it was an event that drew attention from the business world to the passerby, a fact that was important to Marianne Winters, the Executive Director of Safe Passage in Northampton.

“Bringing the public together, people from all walks of life, is key to prevention, to raising awareness, to figuring out an end in sight to domestic violence,” said Winters.

Along with Safe Passage, the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts was also on hand to lend support to the cause. Carla Oleska, CEO of the fund shared what the event meant to her.

“What it means to me is people all over the world finally reaching that tipping point and having the energy to stand up together to say enough,” said Oleska.

Kate Kane, the Managing Director for Northwestern Mutual Financial Network was one of the co-organizers of today’s event and was inspired to bring One Billion Rising to Springfield after reading an article about the worldwide event. For Kate the celebration was about bringing the issue of domestic violence to light even in the business community, where it’s not usually talked about.

“The fact that there are still so many places where women are not safe, where they can’t be safe. And I think in order for women to be fully citizens and be empowered to be citizens, that you need to feel safe whereever you are. So this really hits home I think locally and internationally and it’s important I think that we don’t push that under the rug,” said Kane.

One Billion Rising events were also held today in Greenfield and Northampton.

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