Alternative Valentine's dance highlights abuse

First published in News

GLOUCESTER Green in Oxford was filled with dancing protesters on Valentine’s Day yesterday as feminists gathered in defiance against violent relationships.

The Oxford Rising protest, part of the national One Billion Rising campaign, saw scores of women appear in the city centre space in a flash mob before hosting a street party and handing out red roses to onlookers.

Organiser Dana Mills, a 32-year-old political theory lecturer from Jericho, said the event was held on Valentine’s Day to show support for those trapped in abusive relationships.

She said the stunt was an example of a non-violent protest, with participants demanding an end to violence against women and girls.

She said: “We want to go out and show that we support those who have suffered and we will not take anymore violence.”

The protest came as the latest Thames Valley Police figures revealed that reports of domestic abuse crimes in the city rose 10 per cent since April of last year, with 578 reports so far this financial year compared to the 536 between April 2012 and January 2013.

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