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Byron Shire
December 1, 2022

Byron’s V-Day dances and rises for revolution

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Ilona Harker sings a song for 100 women who lost their lives at hands from their home as their names were shown in remembrance. Photo Tree Faerie.
Ilona Harker sings a song for 100 women who lost their lives at hands from their home as their names were shown in remembrance. Photo Tree Faerie.

Sunday dawned on over 200 women and girls – daughters, sisters, aunties, friends, nieces, mothers, lovers and others, along with small contingent of men, as part of the One Billion Rising for Revolution and the fourth annual flash mob dance to celebrate V-Day on Byron’s Main Beach.

Zenith Virago lead the revolution's rise on Main Beach Byron. Photo Tree Faerie.
Zenith Virago lead the revolution’s rise on Main Beach Byron. Photo Tree Faerie.

MCd by Zenith Virago,  those gathered were taught the steps to the official V-Day dance to the song Break The Chain (lyrics below above photo gallery) and were also given a demonstration of self defence by Byron Extreme.

Byron songstress Ilona Harker sang for 100 women who had died at the hands of ones they love in their home, while their names written were shown so the crowd could bare witness to the tragedy and sadness of domestic violence.

The dance was then experienced with glorious energy and joy before many raced to the ocean for a care-free splash.

A new meaning for a day of love

One Billion Rising is the biggest mass action in human history calling for an end to violence, and campaigning for justice and gender equality . The first event launched on Valentine’s Day 2012, began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime.

With the world population at seven billion, this adds up to more than one billion women and girls.

One Billion Rising: Rise for Revolution 2016 is an escalation of the first three stages of the campaign – One Billion Rising, One Billion Rising for Justice, and One Billion Rising: Revolution.

AUSLAN interpreter Alison Toft used sign language to get the 'Dance & Rise' message across for hearing impaired dancers. Photo Tree Faerie
AUSLAN interpreter Alison Toft used sign language to get the ‘Dance & Rise’ message across for hearing impaired dancers. Photo Tree Faerie

Byron event for all women

The Byron event made sure that all women were catered for on Sunday making beach wheelchairs and volunteers available for those who would like to come on the the sand and an AUSLAN interpreter for the deaf.

Local disabled woman Kelly Cox thanked event organisers for making the Byron’s V-Day more inclusive.

‘It is important that women with disability are able to access and participate in events that are about women,’ she said.

’Women with disability are at significantly higher risk of experiencing all types of violence, and 90% of women with intellectual disability report being sexually assaulted in their lifetime.’

Kelly says that there also needs to be greater awareness of the intersecting issues faced by women with disability, and that those issues need to be included in all conversations about the responses to domestic and family violence in Australia.

‘As an example, when disabled women make the decision to leave, they are often faced with physical and attitudinal barriers.

‘If your local refuge is not wheelchair accessible, if your daily care needs are provided by your abuser or if they are also your interpreter, if you are not believed or if you are denied the supports you need to make a report – it can be impossible to find a clear pathway to safety.’

‘V-Day is a great event. We need all women to take a stance against violence, and it can only get better as more women are included in events that say no to violence.’

As the clocked ticked across the globe on February 14, lovers kissed and women rose.

Break the Chain

I raise my arms to the sky
On my knees I pray
I’m not afraid anymore
I will walk through that door
Walk, dance, rise
Walk, dance, rise

I can see a world where we all live
Safe and free from all oppression
No more rape or incest, or abuse
Women are not a possession

You’ve never owned me, don’t even know me I’m not invisible, I’m simply wonderful I feel my heart for the first time racing I feel alive, I feel so amazing

I dance cause I love
Dance cause I dream
Dance cause I’ve had enough
Dance to stop the screams
Dance to break the rules
Dance to stop the pain
Dance to turn it upside down
Its time to break the chain, oh yeah
Break the Chain
Dance, rise
Dance, rise

In the middle of this madness, we will stand I know there is a better world Take your sisters and your brothers by the hand reach out to every woman and girl

This is my body, my body’s holy
No more excuses, no more abuses
We are mothers, we are teachers,
We are beautiful, beautiful creatures

I dance cause I love
Dance cause I dream
Dance cause I’ve had enough
Dance to stop the screams
Dance to break the rules
Dance to stop the pain
Dance to turn it upside down
It’s time to break the chain, oh yeah
Break the Chain, oh yeah
Break the Chain

Dance, rise
Dance, rise

Sister won’t you help me, sister won’t you rise x4

Dance, rise
Dance, rise

Sister won’t you help me, sister won’t you rise x4

This is my body, my body’s holy
No more excuses, no more abuses
We are mothers, we are teachers,
We are beautiful, beautiful creatures

I dance cause I love
Dance cause I dream
Dance cause I’ve had enough
Dance to stop the screams
Dance to break the rules
Dance to stop the pain
Dance to turn it upside down
Its time to break the chain, oh yeah
Break the Chain, oh yeah
Break the Chain

Birthday girl Lisa was first in the water on Byron's Main Beach for V-Day. Photo Tree Faerie
Birthday girl Lisa was first in the water on Byron’s Main Beach for V-Day.

Photos Tree Faerie


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