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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
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Dance Party Hopes To Raise Awareness of Domestic Violence

Valentine's Day is a time to celebrate relationships but one organization is using the day to raise awareness about a serious issue.

Dozens of men and women in Los Angeles spent Valentine's Day dancing for a cause that was close to their hearts.

Dances were held on Thursday in West Hollywood and Pershing Square as part of a global initiative by One Billion Rising. The organization encourages women and men to be part of a dancing revolution that aims to raise awareness about sexual abuse and gender equality. 

The dancing also marked the 15th anniversary of V-day, a global movement to raise awareness about domestic violence.  One in three women in the world will be raped or beaten in her lifetime and many of these women here have been personally affected by sexual abuse.

"It started when people could tell the difference between if I was a boy or girl. When I was that young and I'm 55 and it hasn't stopped yet."

Personal experience is what also drove One Billion Rising organizer Marcella Fasano to get involved in the dance rally.

"I'm a survivor myself and from that young age I came to the conclusion that there was something truly wrong with the world if women lived in fear every day," Fasano said.

One Billion Rising is not alone in their efforts to end violence against women. Peace Over Violence has joined the One Billion Rising moment to help raise awareness for street harassment and domestic violence in L.A.

Together the organizations are shedding light on an issue that many women feel does not receive enough attention.

"It's something people don't talk about. It's something that no one knew how to rally around and it's only escalating."

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