Exclusive conference coverage from openDemocracy 50.50: Yifat Susskind writes Shelters without walls: women building protective infrastructures against rape for our Defending the Defenders conference.
“Once a woman is raped, she loses her name.” When Rose Cunningham, an Indigenous women’s human rights defender from Nicaragua spoke those words, she paused for a moment. “People just call her ‘la violada’: the raped one.”
This is the stark, dehumanizing power of sexual violence, wherein a person’s identity is erased, pushing her outside the safety and solidarity of community bonds. When these community ties are frayed, the dangers multiply, both to the survivor who is deprived of the caring she deserves and to the community as a whole.
openDemocracy 50.50 has been covering the Nobel Women’s Initiative biennial conferences since 2007 in articles written by participants and more coverage of our 2015 International Conference: Defending the Defenders.