Borderers rise against violence to women

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ORGANISERS hope 1,000 Borderers will go to Kelso tonight to dance and clap with others across the world in a bid to stop violence against women.

So far more than 400 are expected to attend the One Billion Rising event in Springwood Hall in the Border Union showground when FitBorders will lead the singing, dance and clapping.

The worldwide demonstration is expected to be the largest day of action in the history of V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls.

Scottish Borders Council’s Safer Communities and Violence Against Women Partnership, NHS Borders, Lothian and Borders Police, voluntary sector services and community volunteers have organised the free local event, open to women and men aged over 16.

Participants will see footage of other global ‘rises’, hear about the scale of the problem and what they can do and take part in the filming of the One Billion Rising anthem, Break the Chain. And footage of the Borders’ rising will be filmed and simultaneously broadcast around the world

Other One Billion Rising events have already taken place around the Borders which have been filmed and will be screened tonight.

Violence against women and domestic abuse coordinator, Andrea Beavon said: “It’s been great to hear from people who want to be there – we have used Facebook, Twitter, the media, and the reach we’ve had has been overwhelming.

“We estimate at this stage there may be 400 people coming, but we so need more. The 1,000 in our event refers to the number of victims and survivors in the Borders, and we want every one of them to have a sense that we care in the Borders and to show we’ve just had enough of this senseless abuse and violence.

“There are more than 190 countries in the world taking part, and there is considerable political and social support for the event. Locally the key message is ‘we can make a difference…’”.

Over 100 Guides, Brownies, Scouts, Cubs and Beavers gathered in Kelso last week to record their own One Billion Rising anthem, Break the Chain. The event was filmed and will be shown in Springwood Hall tonight.

There will be footage also from Duns Rugby Club, video of around 200 Peebles High School senior pupils flashmob in the school, and of staff at Hastings & Co in Kelso with their Break the Chain contribution.

Yesterday NHS Borders Health Improvement Team was set to stage their own flashmob and had invited staff at Scottish Borders Council to join in, demonstrating “a public testament to the commitment of partner agencies to address violence against women” said Ms Beavon.

Anyone wishing to take part in the Borders event is asked to be at the hall by 6pm to allow notification to the global event of how many people attended before the hour’s rising starts at 6.30pm.