By ViCTORIA LEGGETT
Friday, February 15, 2013
A dancing Sheriff of Norwich, local fire fighters, politicians and schoolchildren today joined hundreds of people in the city – and millions worldwide – to demand an end to violence against women and girls.
Norwich Rising campaigners gathered at The Forum in Norwich at lunchtime to help raise awareness of V-Day, an international day of action organised by Vagina Monologues author Eve Ensler. Across the world, V-Day organisers hoped to have one billion women, and the people who love them, dancing to represent the one-in-three women the United Nations estimates will be raped or violently assaulted in their lifetime.
Michelle Savage, Norwich Rising spokesman, said the Forum event aimed to be a “stone in the water” that would get people dancing all over the city. “A third of women here in Norwich would be 20,000. We want 20,000 people to dance,” she said.
“Chloe Smith said she was dancing in parliament, people said they were dancing at their desks. There’s a really good energy about it.”
The dancing began with a routine to the One Billion Rising campaign song Break the Chain and was followed by hip hop, Zumba and belly dancing. At the end of the first routine, each dancer held one finger in the air to represent the one billion women they were fighting for.
Right at the front of the group was Sheriff of Norwich John Jennings.
He said: “I know of people who have been subjected to domestic violence. I feel very passionately that this is something that needs to bring it to the consciousness of the public. We need more than awareness – we need to do something about it.”
Also among the dancers was Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Norwich North Jess Asato and schoolchildren from Catton Grove Primary and Parkside School.
Catton Grove Primary spokesman Debbie White said: “We want to teach the children to stand up and be active about issues they care about from a young age.”