If around the globe there were truly "One Billion Rising" to speak against violence against women on one day, then Los Altos women—and a few men—have joined a mighty chorus, full-throated.
Ruth Patrick, a domestic violence consultant who runs Women~SV, organized "Women Rising in Los Altos," to bring together like-minded women in community with others on Valentine's Day.
Filling the main dining room of the Main Street Cafe, they sang, read poetry and shared words expressing their views of hope, love and courage. The One Billion Rising campaign is meant to call attention to the statistic that one in three women and girls worldwide will be beaten or raped in their lifetimes, according to organizers.
Jihan Amer led a simple song about listening to one's heart, and the room filled with many voices.
Sangeeta Luthra shared an idea from her home region Northern India, chardi kala, to wish for each, "boundless optimism."
"I just wanted to focus on the resilience of women ...that even when they do experience great traedy or violence, or abuse or neglect, they really move on and on, and embody this idea of chardi kala, Luthra said.
Like her, some rose to express a sentiment, to thank a teacher or a friend who had shown the way.
Los Altos singer-songwriter Tami Mulcahy sang two of her own songs, "Masterpiece" and "Some Pain," to delighted applause.
Besides the One Billion Rising event, related activities were taking place. Across the valley, in San Jose, the county's annual report of domestic violence deaths showed a decline in 2012, the Santa Clara County Domestic Violence Death Review Committee reported.
Shankar Hemmady of Cupertino rose to thank his mother, without whom, he said to much laughter, he would not be there, and his wife, without whom he would not such happiness, nor his children.
Elsewhere in the Bay Area, the largest event scheduled was a rally outside San Francisco City Hall attended by Mayor Ed Lee, District Attorney George Gascon and other dignitaries, that included flash mob-style dances, live music and a pledge to end violence. Members of the activist group Code Pink planned to dance across the Golden Gate Bridge this morning carrying large hearts and banners with anti-violence messages. Three other events took place in San Francisco, including inmates at the men's and women's county jails doing a choreographed dance. Most of the dances will be to the song "Break the Chain," the anthem for the One Billion Rising campaign.
—Bay City News Service contribute to this report