MALE MOVE: Rob Garbutt, Stewart Hannah, Sonny Hannah, Monty, Thomas George MP, Andy Parks, Nigel Hayes, Morgan Montague-Elliot and Soenke Biermann.
MALE MOVE: Rob Garbutt, Stewart Hannah, Sonny Hannah, Monty, Thomas George MP, Andy Parks, Nigel Hayes, Morgan Montague-Elliot and Soenke Biermann. Shauna Mcintyre

Men line up against abuse

LOCAL men have responded to the call to join in actions on Valentine's Day to break the chain of violence against women.

And this Valentine's Day in Lismore, there are two ways to do this, associated with the One Billion Rising campaign, said Southern Cross University lecturer Rob Garbutt.

First, there is a Lismore Rising dance in the park behind Lismore Transit Centre on Thursday 4.30-6.30pm thanks to the Lismore Women's Health Centre. Then at 7pm, there is a Lismore Theatre Company production of the Vagina Monologues at Star Court Theatre as a fundraiser for Heartfelt House.

The organisers of both events have emphasised that violence against women and girls is a human issue that affects all, and men are powerful partners in the effort to end it. V-Day organisers are moved by men's willingness to rise up and stand beside women and know it is only with men joining women that the goal will be realised.

Soenke Biermann, of Dunoon, said it was great that these events invited men. "It allows all of us who want to see women live freely and safely to stand up and be counted," he said. V-Day, the engine behind the One Billion Rising campaign started 1998, by Eve Ensler, writer of the Vagina Monologues, a play based on interviews with women about their experiences, and the success of this inspired her to join other women to begin a global movement to end violence against women, called V-day.

The V in V-Day stands for "victory, valentine & vagina'', and the vision is to see a world where women and girls live freely and safely - thriving not just surviving.

For the 15th anniversary of V-day this year, the organisers have launched the One Billion Rising campaign. It is based on the statistic that one out of three women will experience violence in their lifetime. Tomorrow V-Day organisers are inviting one billion women and the men in their lives to demand an end to the violence, said producer of the Lismore Theatre Company's production of Vagina Monologues and part of the team behind Lismore Rising, Sharon Brodie.

"I'm really pleased, it's been great that men have been getting on board," Ms Brodie said. "Men and women working together to put an end to violence - that's great, that's what we want."

TWO EVENTS

The Lismore Rising dance event will be held Thursday 4.30-6.30pm at the park behind Lismore Transit Centre, cnr Magellan and Molesworth Sts.

Lismore Theatre Company performing Vagina Monologues at Star Court Theatre, 7pm for 7.30pm start. Tickets $30. Call 6622 5005 or visit starcourttheatre. com.au/events



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