Article 25

Archive for February, 2013|Monthly archive page

Pretty Unsettling in Pink

In Uncategorized on 02/22/2013 at 8:56 am

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One Billion Rising rallied Feb. 14 in Northside. Photo by Aimie Willhoite.

 

Highlighting violence against women

By Jeremy Flannery

 

Motorists on Hamilton Avenue driving through Northside witnessed a colorful event during evening rush hour on Valentine’s Day.

About 20 women and two men gathered outside Hoffner Park to highlight the fact one in three women worldwide will be sexually assaulted or physically abused in their lifetimes, according to the host organization, One Billion Rising.

The rally coincided with other rallies around Cincinnati – and around the globe – to raise awareness about violence against women. Participants wore bright pink ski masks and pounded on bongo drums to draw motorists’ attention to their signs. Some also bore signs around their necks saying, “Free Pussy Riot,” expressing support for the Russian band serving a two-year prison term for criticizing President Vladimir Putin.

Participants sought more than public awareness about violence against women, according to event organizer Kate Gallion. They want governments to act.

“There are two things that are going on in the legislative world that we want to see happen,” Gallion said. “We want to see the renewal of the V.A.W.A., which is the Violence Against Women Act.

“The other is a United Nations Treaty from 1980 called C.E.D.A.W. (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women), where a convention found that many laws favor men over women. The United States did not sign the treaty. Neither did countries like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Qatar. This is the company that the U.S. is keeping.”

Support for renewal of the Violence Against Women Act is growing, according to Marsha Tiffany, former president of the Cincinnati chapter of the National Organization for Women.

“There are a lot of people writing to their legislators, congressmen and public officials to get the awareness so that goes forward and is reinstated,” she said.

Participants also called on Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine to demand criminal prosecution of bystanders who witnessed but did not report the rape of a teenage girl in Steubenville, Ohio.

“We want to make bystanders become accountable when witnessing violence,” Tiffany said.

A petition to DeWine is being circulated online by MoveOn.org.

Six other rallies for One Billion Rising occurred in Cincinnati on Valentine’s Day, according to Tiffany: at Thomas Moore College, on McMicken Commons at the University of Cincinnati, at Joseph Beth Booksellers, at the Western Tennis and Fitness Center, at St. Ursuline Academy and at a theater in Crestview Hills, Ky.

For more information about One Billion Rising, visit onebillionrising.org.