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On Valentine’s Day, activist Eve Ensler received a welcome gift. People around the world walked out of their offices and schools to dance on the street to protest the violence that is occurring against women and girls.

When she launched the One Billion Rising campaign a year ago, Ensler’s plan was to get a billion people around the world to take action to end violence against females, the action being a specific dance preformed globally on 14 February 2013.

“Think of the alarms raised about the impact of violence against women and girls during the past 15 years, since we launched V-Day to raise awareness about the horror," Ensler wrote in The Guardian. “Think of how, when I have spoken out about the women and girls who have been raped in Congo’s 13-year war for minerals to parliaments around the world, I have often been cautioned that my language is inflammatory or extreme, when in fact I have not come close to finding the words with which to express the horrors I have heard and witnessed.”

Last Thursday, thousands of events took place in over 200 countries in support of One Billion Rising, from tiny gatherings to flash mobs to parties of hundreds, endorsed by the UN, prime ministers and celebrities.

“One billion women and young girls will be raped or beaten in their lifetime,” says actor and activist Robert Redford, a supporter of the campaign. “I am one of the billion rising to help stop violence against women. Statistics tell us that one in three women will become victims to violence, but it is not a women’s issue. It’s a global crisis. One billion rising is the movement that seeks to put an end to violence against women.”

Actor-activist Jane Fonda, another supporter of the campaign, said, “I’m rising because my mother was sexually abused when she was eight years old and it damaged her life forever. She was never able to really love or to not feel guilty. She killed herself when she was 42 and those two things are related. I’m rising because I work with young girls, most of whom are poor, most of whom have been victims of sexual abuse, and I’m rising because I’m over it. We have to stop violence against women. And when that happens, everything in the world will change.”

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