House of Ruth supporters work each and every day to help those who have endured domestic violence.

The Claremont-based nonprofit has been an advocate for change for 35 years and provides shelter to women and children in need as well as counseling.

But the group will mark an international observance on Feb. 14. It's called V-Day and the program is designed to aim the spotlight on the tragedy of domestic violence. The program this year is called, "One Billion Rising," and refers to what event publicity statistics proclaim - "One in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. One billion women violated is an atrocity. One billion women dancing is a revolution."

And that's what they want Inland Valley residents to do on Valentine's Day.

Organizers want women and men to get up and dance, skip, jump and do whatever it takes to demand an end to violence against women, teens and children.

The House of Ruth will be joined by Project Sister and the Claremont Forum/Prison Library Project for the 4 p.m. event at the Claremont Forum, 586 W. First St., Claremont.

There will be poetry readings, music and flash mobs.

The aim is simple - supporters want women to thrive rather than merely survive.

"One Billion Rising is a global event, organized by Eve Ensler, founder of V-day and Tony-award winning playwright of `The Vagina Monologues,' taking place on Feb. 14 around the world. On this day, one billion women and men will stand together and speak out.


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"People are gathering to rise up against violence. It's an event to increase awareness, show support and stand together to raise our voice and stop the violence," said Pat Bell, development director for House of Ruth.

House of Ruth, in partnership with Project Sister, is hosting the local version of this international event in order to show its commitment to this important crisis.

"House of Ruth and Project Sister are deeply disappointed over the failure of the 112th Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act," Bell said.

"Along with our nationwide network of service providers, advocates and national allies, we have worked diligently with members of Congress to negotiate a strong, bipartisan Act that safely and effectively protects all victims. We want to bring awareness around this critical impasse within the Senate committee. We've been working jointly to develop a program for the two-hour event that features dancing, poetry, singing, folk music, chanting and all-around fun."

House of Ruth and Project Sister personnel along with community members and volunteers are planning to attend, she said. The public is invited, too.

"We've put together a program featuring a dance, choreographed by renowned Debbie Allen, performed worldwide to the song, `Break the Chains.' We also have guest speakers and music performed by the Crocket Sisters, a local folk group. We want to inform the community about this atrocity and ask each member to join us in dance, song and rise up. We hope that people from surrounding communities walk away uplifted and inspired by our rising up together to no more to violence," Bell said.

She encouraged residents to log on to OneBillionRising.org to see the magnitude of the domestic violence problem and the involvement around the world.

"This is the world's largest global activist movement to empower women to break the cycle of violence," she said. "And it will be a very special way to start your Valentine's Day."

suzanne.sproul@inlandnewspapers.com