In a harrowing new article, our partner The Andreev Foundation speaks to The New York Times about the horrors of sexual violence that women in Ukraine are facing as a result of the ongoing war.
The need to help Ukraine’s survivors of sexual violence is immense, activists say. The nation’s few women’s shelters have started taking in war victims. Aid organizations such as Women for Women International and the Andreev Foundation started providing mobile gynecological clinics and counseling sessions. Of more than 800 woman and girls that the foundation has counseled since the invasion began, 22 have acknowledged experiencing sexual violence in the war. Eight were younger than 18. Some survivors have expressed suicidal thoughts, said Anna Orel, an assistant project manager at the foundation. “One girl said that she wanted to cut off her own skin,” she said. “She could not bear the smell of men’s perfume.” Others were scared of military uniforms, even of Ukrainian soldiers, and of men in general. “Many of them don’t want to continue to live,” Ms. Orel said. “It’s very, very important for some professional person to hold their hand and to go through this with them.”