statement from SEMA Network in support of our sisters in Ukraine

The members of SEMA, the Global Network of Victims and Survivors to End Wartime Sexual Violence, stand in solidarity with our sisters from SEMA Ukraine and we condemn Russia’s breach of international law. We are worried about the SEMA members in Ukraine who have lost so much already and are now facing an unsettling situation once again.


Read the statement from the SEMA members in Ukraine:


“We are Ukrainian women who have suffered from Russian aggression in Donbas. Each one of us has felt the cruelty of the occupiers. We endured tortures, sexual violence and years of illegal detention in Russian-occupied territories. Many of us were held in the sadly famous concentration camp Izolyatsia in Donetsk. Each one of us lost everything in this military conflict - our homes, property, our health, many of us lost loved ones and suffered harms we are still recovering from.


But we did not give up, we did not break. We testified about Russia's crimes at the International Criminal Court in The Hague and to Ukrainian law enforcement agencies. With the support of the Mukwege Foundation, SEMA Ukraine has been fighting for more than three years to ensure that rapists and executioners are brought to justice and punished for the crimes they committed against us and many other women.


Now the situation facing us is once again very unsettling. Russia has again drawn its troops to our borders, leaving us vulnerable to war. An invasion is possible every day. We fear the reports indicating that Russia has compiled a list of Ukrainian activists against whom it will take action in case of an invasion. We are once again experiencing physical danger to ourselves and our loved ones.


We turn for help to our friends, allies and the entire international community. We urge you: do not allow escalation, save peace in Ukraine and save our lives!”


Please feel free to share with your networks. The statement can also be found at and attached in English and Ukrainian:


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