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Norwich pupils discuss violence against women as they prepare to take part in One Billion Rising campaign

Catton Grove Primary School pupils prepare to take part in Norwich Rising dance, part of the international One Billion Rising campaing against violence towards women.
Photo by Simon Finlay

Catton Grove Primary School pupils prepare to take part in Norwich Rising dance, part of the international One Billion Rising campaing against violence towards women. Photo by Simon Finlay

Archant Norfolk

Violence against women is a serious issue for primary school pupils to be discussing, but that has not stopped children at Catton Grove Primary School.

Catton Grove Primary School pupils prepare to take part in Norwich Rising dance, part of the international One Billion Rising campaing against violence towards women.
Photo by Simon Finlay Catton Grove Primary School pupils prepare to take part in Norwich Rising dance, part of the international One Billion Rising campaing against violence towards women. Photo by Simon Finlay

Year five pupils at the north Norwich school are perfecting their dance moves in preparation for taking part in the upcoming international campaign One Billion Rising.

The campaign is based on United Nations statistics that one in three women, around 1bn, will be raped or violently assaulted in her lifetime.

A Norwich event, Norwich Rising, is being held outside the Forum from 1pm on Thursday, where a mass dance will raise awareness of violence against women.

There are 135 ‘risings’ being held in the UK and 196 countries around the world taking part.

Catton Grove Primary School pupils prepare to take part in Norwich Rising dance, part of the international One Billion Rising campaing against violence towards women.
Photo by Simon Finlay Catton Grove Primary School pupils prepare to take part in Norwich Rising dance, part of the international One Billion Rising campaing against violence towards women. Photo by Simon Finlay

Ellie Barnes, one of the teachers at Catton Grove Primary who has been helping the pupils prepare, said: “It’s important to teach children to stand up for things they believe in and to be part of the community.

“We have discussed the issues in class, some elements we haven’t discussed as they are only nine or 10 years old, but most have first-hand knowledge of hearing about violence against a neighbour or someone they know, so we have been able to talk about the campaign with them.”

The pupils are focusing on the dance side of the campaign, with all of the girls in the school’s year five classes preparing for the Norwich Rising dance, and three boys also keen to take part.

Michelle Savage, one of the organisers of Norwich Rising, said: “The children from Catton Grove Primary School are role models for all of us. They have been working really hard learning the steps to the campaign dance as well as talking in lessons about equality and respect. That’s what One Billion Rising is all about.”

Catton Grove Primary School pupils prepare to take part in Norwich Rising dance, part of the international One Billion Rising campaing against violence towards women.
Photo by Simon Finlay Catton Grove Primary School pupils prepare to take part in Norwich Rising dance, part of the international One Billion Rising campaing against violence towards women. Photo by Simon Finlay

The event outside the Forum, which will be launched by Sheriff of Norwich John Jennings, will feature NIA, zumba and tribal-style belly dancing, as well as the campaign dance, Break the Chain.

There will be a range of support groups there offering information, including Leeway, the Sue Lambert Trust and 4Women Resource Centre.

- The Don’t Suffer in Silence campaign run by the Evening News has highlighted the problem of domestic abuse and what is being done to combat it. To report domestic abuse to Norfolk police call 999 in an emergency or 101.

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