This month, we would like to update our network on the work of Marina Pisklakova, Russian domestic violence advocate and 2004 Vital Voices Global Leadership Award honoree.
Marina Pisklakova, a member of the Vital Voices Leadership Network and founding member of the Advisory Council, openned the first domestic violence crisis hotline in Russia. Her organization, National Center for the Prevention of Violence – ANNA (Association – No to Violence), is a regional non-governmental non-profit organization focused on prevention of violence and development of services for women survivors of violence. By conducting educational and prevention programs, collaborating with mass media to raise awareness, and providing legal aid and psychological support, ANNA is assisting survivors of domestic violence across Russia, with more than 40 centers currently operating.
In 2008, ANNA created the National Independent Commission on Women’s Human Rights and Violence Against Women. The commission recently released a new report entitled “Territory of Silence.” Analyzing statistical research, the commission found that violence occurs in one in four families, and each year 14,000 women die as a result of spousal abuse in Russia.
ANNA is working tirelessly to improve the lives of Russian women by advocating for legislative reform and challenging traditional societal norms. The organization is currently planning a nation-wide violence against women campaign that will feature Russian celebrities. In addition, ANNA is launching four training programs for women’s organizations so that they can better serve women in need.
The 2009 report concluded that immediate action is crucial. Statistical findings estimate that, “Every hour one Russian woman is murdered by a husband or a partner, and conservative estimates suggest that a rape occurs every thirty minutes.” ANNA’s report demonstrates that domestic violence stands as a great challenge to women’s rights, and compels Marina to continue her important work as an advocate for victims of domestic violence, trafficking, and other human rights abuses.