DOZENS danced to protest violence against women in a lovely town centre gathering on Valentine’s Day.
Dignitaries boogied with children at the One Billion Rising event — a worldwide campaign launched in 2012.
It takes place each Valentine’s Day, inspired by the statistic that one in three females will be beaten or raped during her lifetime.
With the world population of around seven billion, this means more than one billion women and girls are facing physical or sexual abuse.
Each year, groups of women and girls dance the same steps to Tena Clark’s song Break the Chain.
Rotherham dancers rehearsed their routine in the weeks leading up to February 14, while free workshops saw attendees make banners for the occasion at Springwell Gardens Community Centre.
They were joined in All Saints’ Square by the Mayor of Rotherham, Cllr Eve Rose Keenan, borough councillors, drummers, DJs and market stalls.
Afterwards, around 80 people went to Rise’s headquarters for food and refreshments.
The event was co-ordinated by community organiser and project leader Vickie Hobson, of RotherFed.
She said: “This event was to show women and girls that they are beautiful and respected and powerful.
“We wanted this year to be bigger and better than ever, so we invited Rotherham Rise women’s refuge and the Mama Africa community group to join us.
“We had a lot more people than we expected, for the bad weather. It was great to see the mayor and local councillors joining in too.”
She added: “We even had some boys from Springwell and Thurcroft youth groups joining in this year.
“Even some of the PCSOs and town wardens joined in the dancing. It was bigger and better than last year and we hope for the same next year, too.”
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