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Valentine’s Day Dancing on the Statehouse Steps

GRAPHIC: Some Idahoans are dancing at the State Capitol today, as part of the One Billion Rising campaign - calling for an end to violence against women.
GRAPHIC: Some Idahoans are dancing at the State Capitol today, as part of the One Billion Rising campaign - calling for an end to violence against women.
February 14, 2013

BOISE, Idaho - A few hundred men and women are putting on the moves today on the Statehouse steps in Boise for a Valentine's Day dance. It's part of the international One Billion Rising project, which is calling for an end to violence against women and girls.

Kelly Miller, executive director of the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, said there have been four intimate-partner fatalities in the state recently, and they are getting 700 requests a day statewide from women - and men - asking for help to escape abusive situations.

"Unfortunately, I wish I could say it was an issue that's not significant in Idaho," Miller said, "but it definitely is. I mean, it impacts individuals, families, communities."

The reference to "one billion" comes from the campaign's claim that one in three women around the world will be raped or beaten at some point in their lives. Some of the dancers performing at 12:15 p.m. will do a routine that has been learned by groups all over the world, and others will dance free-form.

Miller said dancing transcends languages and cultures, and generates a positive vibe and hope.

"This is not something that always has to exist; we can really create compassionate communities," she stressed. "We can really help young people foster healthy relationships throughout their lifespan."

There are two additional events in Boise. One will be held at the McCleary Auditorium at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center at noon, and one is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Grace Place, 3008 W. Grace St.

The song that will be highlighted in the dance, "Break the Chain," is available at https://soundcloud.com. The dance was choreographed by Debbie Allen.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - ID