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13 February 2014

One Billion People Rising Up

Press release: Cologne, 13 February 2014. Worldwide day of action "One Billion Rising" on February 14, 2014. In Cologne, medica mondiale supports campaign for an end to violence against women and girls.

Rise! Release! Dance! – That is the slogan for One Billion Rising, a worldwide campaign against violence. A study by the World Health Organisation from 2013 shows that one in three women will be beaten or raped during her lifetime, which adds up to one billion women. One Billion Rising is calling for people to dance in public on 14 February as a way of demonstrating their solidarity. Another aim of the event is to lend weight to the political demands for measures to protect women from violence and discriminating depictions in the media. In 2013, one billion people in 207 countries joined the campaign.

In 2014 the day of action focuses on the issue of justice. The organisers are encouraging women and girls to gather in front of courts, police stations, government authorities, parliament or military courts, joined by their families, friends and colleagues. It is an appeal to survivors of violence to break their silence and tell their stories: using art, dance, processions, rituals, songs or witness statements. The women's rights organisation medica mondiale is joining the event in Cologne, to be held at Rudolfplatz on February 14 at 4 p.m. "Rape and other forms of sexualised violence are violations of human rights which jeopardise the victim's physiological, psychological and social integrity and therefore have extremely detrimental effects on the survivor," explains Monika Hauser, founder of medica mondiale. "That is why we have been working for 20 years to establish trauma-sensitive standards for the treatment of survivors and witnesses - in the fields of medical and psychosocial care as well as in court and with the police."

In the run-up to One Billion Rising, a range of national women's associations in Germany have issued three demands to the country's legislators. They are calling for a statutory right to protection and support for victims of domestic and sexualised violence. Further, they demand measures to help disadvantaged groups and survivors of violence and human trafficking to secure their own, independent livelihood. And finally they want to prohibit discriminating depictions of women and men in the media.

Information on One Billion Rising in Cologne: www.onebillionrising-koeln.de

Information on One Billion Rising across Germany: www.onebillionrisingforjustice.de

Since 1993, medica mondiale has been committed to supporting women and girls in war zones and crisis areas. The organization sees itself as being an advocate for the rights and interests of women who have survived sexualised wartime violence. In addition to gynaecological treatment and psychosocial and legal assistance, medica mondiale also offers programmes to help women secure their own livelihood and it carries out political human rights work.
www.medicamondiale.org