South Okanagan takes a stand against violence

Oliver letter writer honoured to be part of V-Day One Billion Rising rally.

I was honoured to attend the V-Day One Billion Rising rally at Medici’s Gelataria Feb. 14. I was proud and inspired that Oliver and surrounding communities were galvanized by a significant and vital socially impacting cause — to stand collectively to end violence and other forms of abuse against women and children.

For those unfamiliar with the event, here is a quote from their website: “Feb. 14 marked the largest global action in history to end violence against women and girls. V-Day’s One Billion Rising campaign leveraged the strength of V-Day’s 15-year activist network to mobilize over a billion people worldwide, inspiring women and men in 207 countries to come together and express their outrage, and to strike, dance and rise against violence.”

A packed house at Medici’s on a Thursday afternoon indicated there is a tremendous amount of people wanting to express their support for such an event. Speaking with individuals earlier in the week they conveyed their desire to attend but work schedules conflicted. I can imagine what the turnout may have been had the rally been held in the evening. Thank you to all who were able to participate. Special thanks to Paula Rodriguez de la Vega V-Day, co-organizer Oliver-Osoyoos for creating this event in our area – Roxie Van Aller executive director of Desert Sun Counselling and Resource Centre for the sobering statistics affecting women and children in our region — to the various speakers and readers at this event whom shared stories that resonated painfully deep. Appreciation must be extended as well to Medici’s owners, John and Sylvia, for providing a venue for this rally. Also, thanks to Kathy and Almerio, for giving me time off work to attend what is close to my heart.

Kelly Wheeler

Oliver