Right Livelihood Laureate Monika Hauser. Credit: Bettina Flitner.

Monika Hauser on Ukraine: Prioritise “needs of survivors of sexualised violence”

News 23.02.2024

On the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, gynaecologist and humanitarian Monika Hauser voiced deep concern over the surge of human rights abuses.

The Right Livelihood Laureate and founder of the women’s rights and aid organisation medica mondiale highlighted the often-overlooked issue of sexualised violence in conflict zones.

“Sexualised violence escalates in violent conflicts,” she said. “Women and girls are most frequently affected.”

She added that the LGBTQ+ community, as well as boys and men, are also at significant risk of being brutalised and traumatised.

Hauser called for a survivor-focused approach.

“The focus must always be on the needs of survivors of sexualised violence,” she said, insisting on the necessity for “comprehensive protection” and “stress- and trauma-sensitive medical and psychosocial support.”

She also stressed the importance of incorporating the expertise of local women’s rights organisations and ensuring they receive ample financial and political support.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, medica mondiale has collaborated with activists aiding survivors.

“We have been strengthening psychologists, social workers, and lawyers working in counselling centres and women’s shelters in group coaching and training sessions,” she said.

The training not only aims to provide trauma-sensitive support for survivors but also focuses on the self-care of these dedicated professionals amidst the relentless stress of war.

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