BY DINA EXIL
Hundreds of women broke out in a synchronized, “flash-mob” – style dance Thursday afternoon in Washington Square Park, to raise awareness about violence against women.
In a global movement by “One Billion Rising,” a campaign calling for women and men to rise and dance and take a stand against violence, women danced to Deborah Allen’s “Breaking the Chain.”
The “One Billion” represents the statistic that roughly one in three women will be raped or beaten within her lifetime, organizers said.
The flash mob included high school senior, Mia Wong, 17, who joined many of her classmates. She said many of her schoolmates are ignorant about violence against women and make rape jokes that make her uncomfortable.
”That’s part of their culture and it makes me so sad that even jokes about it are still accepted,” said Wong. “That means people won’t take it as seriously and that means people will think that it is okay to rape or be raped because people joke about it.”
While holding a sign that said “I Rise to Teach Men Not to Rape Instead of Teaching Women Not to be Raped,” Wong said she wanted to help end “the rape culture.”
“We have to be empowered and we have to start not blaming it on the victims,”she concluded.
A large number of organizations were represented at the event, such as “There is no Limit Foundation” co-founded by Aissata M.B. Camara.
“I think that it’s just the experience of today,” said Camara. “Something about it. We’re learning to speak out and teaching that just knowing information you can do something about it.”
Camara suggested that people can do the simplest things can make a difference, such as bake sales and sharing information.
The event was scheduled for Valentine’s Day to celebrate the 15th anniversary of V-Day, an advocacy group founded on Valentine‘s Day 1998 by outspoken feminist Eve Ensler.
“A lot of the time it’s a lot abuse and judgment on ourselves because of the way we were raised and the name society has given us and over the time, it has caused us to dim our lights,” said participant Jaime Summers “We are not as strong and powerful as we could be as women because of all the crap that we have taken on and now we’re hurting ourselves and abusing ourselves.”
March 8t marksInternational Women’s Day.