Sunday, September 11, 2022

Violence Against Women on the Rise since Start of Putin’s War in Ukraine

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Aug. 31 – It has been widely reported and even celebrated that Russian women from the beginning have been the leaders of the anti-war movement in the Russian Federation (, but the second front they have now opened deserves far more attention.

            That is the struggle against violence against women,  Russian, Ukrainian and others, something that during Putin’s war in Ukraine, as in almost all other wars in human history, has increased even though complaints about it and attention to it have fallen drowned out by militarist rhetoric that typically features openly misogynist elements.

            Two months ago, Anna Rivina, the founder of the No to Force movement ( and author of the first Russian serial on feminism, Fem is (, launched a new project devoted to helping women who are victims of violence because of the war.

            Her project, called The Labyrinth (, helps women of all nationalities who have been affected by the war, both in their own countries and if they have been forced to flee abroad. Its site is in four languages – Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, and English – and it has volunteers in numerous cities inside Russia and also in Europe.

            Women who appeal to The Labyrinth, Rivina says, are provided with legal help they often can’t find or afford, psychological support, and practical assistance in finding safe havens if they have been violently attacked. Her project is still relatively small and needs popular support, but it is an important contribution to a group that is often neglected.


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