As part of the global One Billion Rising campaign, Stella Creasy MP joins cross-party campaigners and famous faces from across the UK in calling on Parliament to rethink sex education in the UK.
On 14 February supporters rally at Parliament Square in support of Commons debate
The ONE BILLION RISING campaign will come to the UK parliament today as part of a call for action to end violence against women. As thousands of campaigners across Britain come together at 150 different events in the UK alone, Members of Parliament will debate a motion calling on the Government to make relationship education a requirement in schools.
Activists in the UK will be joining a worldwide movement in over 200 other countries to call for renewed efforts to end violence against women. Ahead of this debate campaigners will stage a flashmob outside parliament to support this proposal and release 109 balloons; one for every woman killed by her partner or former partner in the UK in 2012.
Speaking about why they would be taking part in this day of action actress and V-Day board member Thandie Newton said:
“One Billion Rising is going across cultural lines, political lines, class lines- it’s a pandemic, and different parts of the world are responding differently to the campaign, focusing on what is most problematic for them to do with violence against women. I want it to be big and bold, and to reach as many young people in the UK as possible, and that is why I will be attending Parliament Square in support the bill that aims to protect future generations from violence against women and girls”
Jahmene Douglas, runner up in 2012’s UK X-Factor and Women’s Aid Ambassador for Children and Young People said:
“As the Ambassador for Children and Young People at Women’s Aid I am joining One Billion Rising because I feel passionately that young people should be taught about healthy relationships in school, and that we need to do this if we are ever going to reduce the amount of domestic violence. I have first-hand experience of what it’s like to grow up with domestic violence at home, and ask the government to act now and make respectful sex and relationship education compulsory.”
Speaking about the campaign Stella Creasy MP said:
“When we live in a country where 750,000 children witness acts of domestic abuse a year and a third of girls in relationships aged 13-17 have experienced physical or sexual violence in relationships, when one in three women in our world will be beaten or raped in her lifetime it’s time for all of us to stand up and say enough. I am proud to be backing One Billion Rising by supporting the call to make a zero tolerance approach to violence in relationships part of the school curriculum.
“Keeping our young people safe is so important and teaching both boys and girls about positive relationships and respect in schools is key to this. With so many people turning outacross Britain I think it’s important that these issues are taken seriously and policies which will protect future generations from violence against women and girls are debated in Parliament.”
For more information contact the office of Stella Creasy MP: 020 7219 6890 or visit www.obruk.wordpress.com
Notes to Editors
1. The photocall for this event will be at 11.15am on Parliament Square in central London. Representatives will be available for comment through arrangement with Purple PR.
2. 109 Balloons will be released by NIA, A North London Charity delivering services to end violence against women. More information is available through their website: http://www.niaendingviolence.org.uk/
3. This event takes place alongside over 150 other events across the UK and a full day of activities in London including flashmobs in Covent Garden, the Southbank, the Young Vic and in Whitechapel. The full list of UK events is available at the One Billion Rising international website. 4. Alongside action in the UK there are events in over 200 countries around the world including Israel, Nigeria, the Philippines, France, Peru, South Africa, Afghanistan, Luxembourg, Australia and America.
5. The parliamentary motion for debate on Thursday 14th February has been called for by a cross party group of MPs and is as follows:
“That this House notes the One Billion Rising Campaign, and the call to end violence against women and girls; and calls on the government to support this by introducing statutory provisions to make personal, social and health education, including a zero tolerance approach to violence and abuse in relationships, a requirement in schools.”
6. This proposal has been developed by campaigners who took part in workshops about the One Billion Rising Campaign across the UK throughout 2012. It follows the work of the End Violence Against Women ‘Schools Safe for Girls’ and the evidence of the Office of the Children’s Commissioner and the University of Bedfordshire’s Exploitation Inquiry, which uncovered worrying trends of increased sexual exploitation of young people by their peers.
A 2010 YouGov poll found that almost a third (29%) of 16-18-year-old girls say they have been subjected to unwanted sexual touching at school, and the NSPCC found that a third of girls in relationships aged 13-17 have experienced physical or sexual violence in relationships, while one in 16 of this group reported experiencing rape.
7. Making Sex and Relationship Education statutory and standardised was also a key and recurring recommendation from a recent Cross-Party Investigation into unwanted pregnancies.
About One Billion Rising
One in three women on the planet is raped or beaten in her lifetime, according to the UN. That is ONE BILLION WOMEN violated. One billion daughters, mothers, grandmothers, sisters, lovers and friends. On 14th February 2013, V-Day’s 15th Anniversary, we are inviting ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end to this violence. ONE BILLION RISING will move the earth, activating women and men to dance across every country. V-Day wants the world to see our collective strength, our numbers and our solidarity across borders. Join V-Day and ONE BILLION RISING today and SAY NO to violence against women and girls. To sign up and learn more, visit
V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of Playwright/Founder Eve Ensler’s award winning play “The Vagina Monologues” and other artistic works. In 2012, over 5,800 V-Day benefit events organized by volunteer activists in the U.S. took place around the world educating millions of people about the reality of violence against women and girls. To date, the V-Day movement has raised over US $90 million; educated millions about the issue of violence against women and the efforts to end it; crafted international educational, media and PSA campaigns; reopened shelters; and funded over 13,000 community-based anti-violence programs and safe houses in Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Kenya, South Dakota, Egypt and Iraq. Over 300 million people have seen a V-Day benefit event in their community. V-Day has received numerous acknowledgements including Worth Magazine’s 100 Best Charities, Marie Claire Magazine’s Top Ten Charities, one of the Top-Rated organizations on Philanthropedia/Guidestar and Great Nonprofits.