Around a dozen groups in Wisconsin met in La Crosse and joined people around the world today to stand up against violence against women and girls.
"Today, we stand together with all women across the world to say no, put a stop to violence against women!"
Outside La Crosse's City Hall, more than a hundred people gathered to take a stand against violence with 1 Billion Rising. According to the group, one in three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. There were speeches, songs preaching female empowerment by Chaka Khan and Destiny's Child, and the main event, a flash mob choreographed dance.
Hmong Mutual Assistance Association's Dorothy Her helped coordinate the event. She wanted to encourage people to speak up against violence.
"There are a lot of women who don't have their voices, or their voices are muted, and that's what happens when you're in an abusive relationship: you become muted. It's nice to see there are lots of women here supporting — women of color, Hmong women, Native women, white women, black women, you know."
But men were also there taking a stand against violence, like seventeen-year-old Lucky Vue. He says in the past, he never spoke up when he heard or saw a problem. "It's just I don't say anything about it and now I'm here. I want to stop it."
Vue says the rally helped put things in perspective for him, and after today, he'll definitely speak up.