In the opening plenary of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, I listened to speaker after speaker recount the pervasiveness of sexual violence in war and the toll it takes on survivors. It made me wonder: how many rapes does it take before we make the world a place where all people live free – free from the fear of sexual violence?
Government officials, activists, survivors, and members of the media are converging on the outskirts of London by the thousands to attend the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict this week.
PHR's director of international policy and partnerships/senior advisor, Susannah Sirkin, discusses the Rwandan genocide 20 years later, highlighting that "never again" has not been adhered to. Conflicts in Syria, Sudan, and the Central African Republic continue, and the world is incapable of an effective response.
The recognition of sexual violence as an international crime at the International Criminal Court (ICC) is a major step forward. The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga case is the first at the ICC to charge a defendant with crimes of sexual violence and represents a crucial milestone for the ICC and for victims of sexual violence.
The hallmark image of V-Day is a victim of sexual violence rising from the horror and dehumanization of being targeted to the recovery and empowerment of being a survivor. As millions of people will witness the "risings" this week initiated by playwright and activist Eve Ensler and replicated in film, dance, and other events throughout the world, I want to pay tribute to the courageous experts behind the scenes who are critical to this movement.