The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

A critical component in addressing sexual violence is to build a protective environment to prevent children and women for being exposed to violence. In the midst of crises, even the most basic risk-mitigation efforts that can be life-saving are often deemed non-essential and overlooked.
The truth is that sexual violence - in warfare and otherwise - is still a choice someone has made. And at the moment it is a choice that will likely never see any form of redress or retribution. By teaching women who have been raped about their rights, supporting them to prosecute rapists and getting them vital medical support, we are not only helping survivors get the justice they deserve and crave, we are making a statement.
If the message from London's Sexual Violence in Conflict global summit is that foreign women need protecting from rape, then
On behalf of all survivors worldwide to you here today, experts, ministers, states offi-cials please, while you're trying hard to make the world a better place, while you are trying to bring us justice, please don't forget the protections that survivors need to participate in this process.
"We are trying to do something that has never been done before -- to change the entire global attitude towards sexual violence
We owe it to ourselves, and to women and girls worldwide, not to turn away. And thankfully I hear the voice of the world saying enough. People of all nationalities are bringing to light what has historically been one of the most silent and hidden human rights abuses of our time. For this I am grateful and proud.
For too long violence against women has been viewed as 'a women's issue'- and when it comes to politics, the issue is usually given to the 'gender ministry' or tagged onto the role of a female minister whatever her official portfolio might be. Whilst working at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), I remember how civil servants were scurrying around trying to find a woman (Lynne Featherstone as it turned out) to be the government's champion on violence against women and girls globally. But at the time she was a Home Office Minister. Why weren't we asking the male foreign secretary to be the champion? The person who has the ability to discuss these issues at the highest levels with their male counterparts?