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Photo provided The Parkersburg Shimmy Mob team performed Saturday at the Parkersburg Riverfront Amphitheater as part of a worldwide event to raise awareness and donations for domestic violence.

PARKERSBURG — Dancing can be used as a way to express oneself, exercise and have fun; it can also be used to raise awareness and donations as shown by Shimmy Mob teams around the world.

What is Shimmy Mob?

Well, it is a dance performance group, founded by Francesca Anastasi (aka Sabeya), that creates awareness and raises funds for women’s and children’s shelters in participating communities around the world.

This year there were 147 teams all over the globe, including one in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

This year, all teams performed to “Yalla Ya Gamila,” an instrumental song from Emad Sayyah’s album Arabian Jewels and the dance was choreographed by Ellie Taylor, a Shimmy Mob team leader since 2019, and currently runs weekly classes and offers online tuition from Kiama, Australia.

This event has been held worldwide for 11 years now, on May 14, World Bellydance Day to raise funds or collect supplies for victims of abuse in local shelters.

According to Jewels Whitney, the area team founder, area donations are being made to the Family Crisis Intervention Center Women’s Shelter. The shelter is in need of cleaning supplies such as paper towels and disinfectant wipes, but a monetary collection is being taken up as well.

Sponsors this year were Fitness with Phyllis Training Studio and Workout Facility in Belpre; the Parkersburg YMCA and Full Circle Yoga, who donated space to practice.

Next Saturday, the YMCA will offer a free belly dance workshop instructed by Whitney from 11 a.m. to noon, where more donations will be collected for the shelter.

A look at the statistics:

∫ One in three women and one in four men have been victims of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. According to recent studies, emotional abuse by an intimate partner is much higher than physical abuse.

∫ Emotional abuse is the precursor to most cases of physical domestic violence. Recognizing the early signs is key to breaking the pattern and stopping abuse before it causes irreversible damage.

Emotional abuse examples:

∫ Placing undue blame

∫ An overly critical spirit

∫ Resentment

∫ Slapping negative labels on personal traits or behaviors

∫ Threatening physical harm

∫ Starting rumors that degrade reputation

∫ Angry outbursts

∫ Manipulation (“If you love me, you’ll…”)

∫ Withholding information

∫ Limiting access to finances or personal possessions

∫ Refusing to acknowledge their partner’s feelings

∫ Using sarcastic or mocking tones, even if the message itself is positive

∫ Verbal threats

∫ Demeaning the partner in front of friends, family or strangers

∫ Constant criticism or humiliation

∫ Name-calling and use of abusive language

∫ Disproportionate anger or yelling to intimidate

∫ Irrational blaming of the partner

∫ Withholding affection, approval or appreciation as a punishment

∫ Obsessive jealousy and accusations of unfaithfulness

∫ Instilling in the partner the belief that “Nothing he/she does will ever be good enough”

∫ Use of intimate knowledge to generate vulnerability

∫ Abusing or threatening to abuse the partner’s children or pets with the intent to emotionally harm the partner

∫ Being irresponsible with money

∫ Serially cheating and then blaming for his or her behavior

∫ Using insults, sarcasm or sneering

∫ Laughing at the partner

∫ Harming or threatening to harm himself/herself

∫ Denying that statements or promises were made or that behaviors occurred, and telling the partner it’s all in his/her mind

∫ Silent treatment

∫ Listening to his/her phone calls, monitoring the mileage on the car, calling/texting/emailing

∫ Stopping access to family and/or friends

∫ Making rules about what to say, do or wear.

∫ Behaving like a spoiled child

∫ Acting helpless to get his/her way

∫ Telling him/her that he/she will never find anyone better, or that they are lucky to be with a person like them

This list is not complete. More examples exist.

Need Support?

If you, or someone you know, is in danger, contact your local domestic violence shelter or national domestic violence hotline (Text “START” to 88788 or call 1-800-799-7233

Sources: Psychology Today – Steven Stosny Ph. D., Ashleighspatienceproject – Healthline

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