150 dance against domestic violence in Port Townsend park

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — Pope Marine Park was filled with dancers as people gathered to raise consciousness about domestic violence during Port Townsend Rising.

“This is a message that is for everyone,” said Allison Dey, one of the event’s organizers who spent several days in rehearsal for the Friday event, which featured two choreographed selections.

About 150 people attended the dance, which is tied to celebrations around the world under the “One Billion Rising” banner, the brainchild of Eve Ensler, playwright of the “The Vagina Monologues” and founder of V-Day, an organization that seeks to end violence against women and girls.

“One of the really powerful things about this movement is that men have really stepped forward,” said Annalisa Barelli, who also helped organize last year’s Port Townsend event.

“For all of you men and young boys, this is how we make a really safe space. This is how we create safe communities.”

While women were in the majority, about one-quarter of the gathered crowd was men, many of whom danced.

The afternoon dance was part of an all-day effort to raise consciousness about domestic violence. Madrona Mindbody Institute hosted a dance at noon followed by a community discussion.

A bike parade, Ride for Justice, began at 2 p.m. at the Recyclery in Port Townsend and wound through town.

Throughout the day, donations were solicited for Dove House, a resource center for domestic violence in Port Townsend.

Donations will be counted this week, organizers said.

The culminating dance downtown included live DJ beats from Silace Amaro, a special percussion performance from Rhythm Planet and an interactive performance from the Poetic Justice Theatre Ensemble.

Barelli said 1 in 3 women worldwide comes in contact with domestic violence at some point in their lives and that consciousness-raising events can help change this.

Dove House Advocacy Services provides confidential crisis intervention and advocacy to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

For information on Dove House, which is located at 1045 10th St., phone 360-385-5291 or visit www.dovehousejc.org.

More about Port Townsend Rising is on its Facebook page.

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Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: February 15. 2014 5:52PM
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