Find out what has helped this DV survivor heal
HINEMANA Johnson is a survivor, but more than that, she’s an inspiration helping to save others.
Mrs Johnson is the driving force behind One Billion Rising Gympie, a group that helps to raise awareness and hope to victims of domestic and family violence.
The global organisation One Billion Rising was formed in 2012 after the World Health Organisation revealed as many as one in three women in the world would, at some point in their lives experience rape or violence.
Mrs Johnson said recent statistics claim that one woman in Australia is murdered every seven days due to domestic violence.
“I feel disturbed, unnerved, and unsafe when I hear statistics like that,” she said.
Mrs Johnson, herself a victim of horrendous abuse from the age of two to 17, said it was through dancing with One Billion Rising she “experienced empowerment and love and to feel whole again.”
“My trauma and experience with domestic violence has been chipping away at me in many ways,” Mrs Johnson said.
She said her early life left her feeling worthless.
“I’ve been able to get my worthiness back by doing 40 years of nursing, as a registered nurse in New Zealand and by involving myself in choirs and community radio and events coordinating,” she said.
“And then I found One Billion Rising and that has also helped me to rise above my trauma. I found out who I was meant to be through dancing,” she said.
Mrs Johnson started One Billion Rising Gympie just last year but over the past twelve months, membership of the organisation has grown to more than 100.
The One Billion Rising dance is performed across the globe as close to Valentine’s Day as possible and this year will take place in Gympie at the Museum Markets on Sunday February 16 at 10am.
During the performance, which aims to raise awareness of DV, volunteers will be handing out pamphletts containing information on DV and contact details for aid organisations in Gympie.
Anyone wishing to join the group to perform, or even to find out more about One Billion Rising, can apply to join their Facebook page, private message the page or come along to the rehearsals at the Hockey Club on Power Rd, Southside on Tuesdays at 9am or 7pm or Fridays at 9.30am.
Mrs Johson says the dancing really helps.
“I feel magnificent!”