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Thandie Newton Joins London's 'One Billion Rising' Protest

February 14th, 2013 11:47am EST

Thandie Newton

Actress Thandie Newton joined a demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament in London on Thursday as part of a worldwide campaign to stop violence against women.

The Crash star is among the famous faces supporting the V-Day's One Billion Rising drive, which encourages women across the world to strike, dance and take a stand on Valentine's Day.

Campaigners gathered in London's Parliament Square on Thursday morning, holding posters and placards, and they released 109 balloons into the sky to remember the 109 women in the U.K. who were allegedly killed by men last year.

Newton was part of the demonstration, which was held at the same time as a political vote on U.K. school sex education classes, and she reveals the campaign has been spurred on by the brutal gang rape of a young physiotherapy student, who died after the attack on a bus in New Delhi, India in December.

She says, "(The campaign aims) to gather a billion men and women who will reflect the numbers of women who are affected by violence at any time... What happened in Delhi was an example of what we are trying to raise awareness of...

"We're outside parliament for a reason because that's when they're passing a bill about sex education so our presence will put pressure on that to take place."

Newton also insists a similar campaign would have help stop her from being taken advantage of by men in the movie industry when she was a young actress: "If there had been a campaign like One Billion Rising... if I had been exposed to someone like me when I was a young 16 year old in film, I would have had a different attitude. That is why I feel so passionate (about this)."

Other stars to support the global campaign include Annie Lennox, Rosario Dawson, Kerry Washington, Jane Fonda and Anne Hathaway, who previously revealed she is hosting a dance party to support the cause on Thursday.

Photo Credits: PR Photos , wenn