More than a dozen non-profit groups working to end violence against women and girls gathered at the state capitol this morning to bring focus to a harrowing United Nation's statistic; 1 in 3 women in the world will be raped or beaten in their lifetime. The gathering was part of the One Billion Rising anti-violence movement led by Eve Ensler, Author of the Vagina Monologues.
One Billion Rising is a call for women across the globe to drop what they're doing on February 14th and dance. Amberly Phillips with the Salt Lake City YWCA joined dozens of those women outside the state capitol to distribute flyers with a list of 10 things they can do to stop the violence. The list encourages everyone to support local domestic violence shelters and legislation like the federal Violence Against Women Act.
“But also to promote peace in your life, to foster healthy relationships, to set limits, to just not accept violence in your life and if you know someone who is in trouble to encourage them to get help," Phillips said.
Democratic Representative Brian King urged the crowd to show support for State House Bill 50, sponsored by House Minority Leader, Representative Jennifer Seelig. The bill extends protective orders to individuals in dating relationships. King told the crowd, the bill has some opposition.
“I think that's a problem," King said. "I think this is a great bill. Representative Seelig has worked for years on it. I support that bill. I support her efforts and I support you.”
There were also gatherings on the campus of the University of Utah, Park City Moab and other areas of the state. HB 50 is expected to be considered on the House floor Friday.