Sexual violence in conflict was a shocking reality facing women in Europe during the First and Second World War and it is all too real for women in Afghanistan and Syria today.
For too long this violence has been seen as inevitable, but that can and should be changed. William Hague put the issue on the agenda for April's G8 foreign ministers’ meeting. He supports increasing prosecutions of men who carry out these crimes.
Yet, in the aftermath of an attack, a survivor’s first thought isn’t legal action. She needs emergency medical care, and help to overcome the trauma.
I am a supporter of CARE International UK which backs 'one stop' centres with health services, financial advice and legal assistance for survivors all in one place. Without this support, women will not have the strength to give testimony.
But, there aren’t enough of these centres and they need funding. Please can readers write to their MPs urging them to support funding for this work, and to campaign against such devastating violence.
Luisa Martinez, Ling Road, Canning Town