ROBERT BARRON Citizen
Glaucia Desroches said she cries every time she attends the annual One Billion Rising event in Duncan.
Desroches, who moved to Vancouver Island from Brazil when she was nine years old, was among the more than 100 people who braved the rain Friday afternoon to attend the event in Duncan City Square.
Desroches told the crowd of mostly young people that she was first sexually assaulted by a relative when she was just five years old.
“I also spent some time in a foster home after that where I was often locked in my room at night and beaten,” she said with tears in her eyes.
“It’s not acceptable that about one in three women around the world will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes.
“I have a three-year-old girl and I fear for her. I don’t mind the rain today, because the rain melts the pain away.”
People come together from the Cowichan Valley once a year at the local One Billion Rising event to dance and express joy, community and celebrate the fact that, together, violence can be defeated.
The events, held around the world, are calls to action based on the staggering statistics of abuse against women that Desroches quoted.
With the world population at seven billion, this adds up to more than one billion women and girls. The Duncan event is hosted in partnership by Cowichan Intercultural Society, Cowichan Women Against Violence, Matraea Centre, and Cowichan Spirit of Women.
International Women’s Day was Tuesday, March 8.