Anika Trondle, left, and Gugu Madlala of Diakonia with a heart of light at the closing ceremony of the Garden of Hope and Healing last year. Many of the flowers from the garden will be planted in the Durban Magistrates Court as part of the V Day  One Billion Rising campaign on Valentines Day.

“Black is the new red” for Valentine’s Day this year, according to the Diakonia Council of Churches, which wants people to wear the colour as a symbol of mourning for victims of abuse.

The council’s social justice co-ordinator, Reverend Dr Jenny Sprong, said they had for years encouraged people to wear black every Thursday.

“As Valentine’s Day falls on a Thursday, people are invited to show their support of the campaign by wearing black, with a splash of red.”

They are also encouraging people to participate in the 15th anniversary of the One Billion Rising campaign.

The global campaign was initiated by the writer of “The Vagina Monologues”, Eve Ensler, to encourage NGOs, schools, celebrities, community groups, faith bodies, other organisations and individuals to make a statement on Valentine’s Day in support of an end to gender violence.

Ensler said the campaign was inspired by the fact that “one in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime”.

“Ending violence against women is as important as ending poverty, Aids or global warming,” said Ensler.

She wants a billion people to rise up against gender violence. Diakonia and affiliated organisations will add their voices to the campaign by “planting” flowers from the Garden of Hope and Healing at the Durban Magistrate’s Court at 10am on Valentine’s Day. – Daily News Reporter