Polk County flash mob dances to combat violence against women - WFLA News Channel 8

Polk County flash mob dances to combat violence against women

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POLK COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

A flash mob transformed the Polk County courthouse lobby into a dance floor this morning. The event called One Billion Rising was part of an international effort to combat violence against women. 

The Peace River Center, a domestic violence shelter in Polk, and the Polk County Clerk of Court's office joined forces to coordinate the event.

"Our office sees victims that come through every single day," explained Stacy Butterfield who is the Clerk of the Circuit Courts in Polk.

"The amount of violence against women and children in Polk County is just a staggering number," she said.

V-Day, a group of global activists, organized the worldwide One Billion Rising effort. The group estimates one in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in their lifetime.

"This kind of violence must come to an end," said Janey Stratton, an outreach coordinator for Polk's Peace River Center.

"They challenged us to get out and do our dance today, to rise up.... and to say I am one woman, one man standing against women being violated," Stratton said.

Close to 100 men and women took to the Polk courthouse lobby this morning to dance in a show of solidarity.  Heidi Shank-Bridges came to send a message.

"It's very difficult emotionally because you know as a victim what it's like. You know what it's like to be afraid to speak up but the joy that you get for speaking up and standing up is amazing," Shank-Bridges said.

The One Billion Rising events were scheduled in 203 countries. 

 

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