The local marketing industry is being urged to throw their support behind the global movement fighting violence against women, One Billion Rising, on Valentine’s Day.
In Sydney, White Ribbon and business women networking group Girlpower Goddess, have partnered to hold a flash mob at St Mary’s Cathedral.
The flash mob will be just one part of the global One Billion Rising movement with events scheduled all over the world on Valentine’s Day.
Andrew O’Keefe, chairman of White Ribbon, said: “One in three women over the age of 15 report physical or sexual violence at some time in their lives – and a woman is killed every week by a current or former partner.”
“Whether we know it or not, every single one of us knows someone who is suffering abuse or has experienced violence. So together we have the responsibility, and the power, to be the generation that changes all that.”
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has thrown her support behind the movement with a YouTube message (below) while celebrities Anne Hathaway, George Clooney and Jane Fonda have pledged their support.
The event is close to the heart for Girlpower’s founder Natascha Moy who suffered years of domestic abuse in the hands of her step-father (read her survivor story below).
Photographer Andrew Macoll captured shots of Moy and two other survivors to bring their stories to life.
For more details click here. Registration costs $5 and a One Billion Rising t-shirt cost $20 with all profits to be donated to The Wash House.
Non-Sydneysiders can get involved by purchasing a t-shirt and uploading pictures of themselves and friends dancing to the Girlpower's One Billion Rising YouTube channel.
NATASCHA MOY, FOUNDER OF GIRLPOWER
“When I was 13 my mother married again. My stepfather was terribly charming and charismatic. He could sing like Tom Jones and my friends thought he was the best fun. Behind closed doors he was jealous, violent, destructive and terrifying. Within months of marrying my mother he smashed the glass coffee table with his fists, kicked my little dog across the room like a football and had given my mother a bloody nose. My little brothers and I felt like we were suddenly living in a nightmare and to make matters worse my mother was pregnant with my sister.
We had no way of negotiating through this and at a time when I needed a mother most my stepfather forbade her from spending time with me alone. We lived in hell for all of my teenage years and the last time my stepfather threw me down the passage I was 24 years of age. No one believed us and we were too ashamed to ask for help. For years it was a balancing act that I eventually believed was normal.
The fear is not in the punch but in the intimidation and the threats. Years later I realized that my greatest fear was not of being hurt but of him killing my mother, the only person who could care for us and leaving us with no one. I have cried a thousand tears and dreamed of the worst things, I have prayed to God and run away more times than I could count. The final straw came when I was pregnant and he threatened that my mother would never see her grandson or me ever again in her life. Eventually we all got away. And at my age now I have finally realized that I am no longer a victim but a survivor and that I can write my own destiny and my own story. I am teaching my son how to adore and love and respect women and doing this by showing him love and respect. I intend to make sure I break the chain with love.
I started Girlpower Goddess to empower women. To encourage women to believe that they are remarkable and that they have brilliant brains, resilience, beauty and passion. That it is ok to want to succeed and stand above the crowd and that it is in each one of us to be brilliant.”