Women Unsilenced: Our Refusal to Let Torturer-Traffickers Win

· FriesenPress

About this ebook

Women Unsilenced explores the impact of unthinkable violence committed against women and girls through multiple perspectives—women’s recall of life-threatening ordeals of torture, human trafficking, and organized crime, society’s failure to recognize and address such crimes, and close examinations of how justice, health, political, and social systems perpetuate revictimizing trauma. Written by retired public health nurses who include their own experiences helped give voice and understanding to women who have been silenced. This book discloses their “underground” caring work and offers “kitchen table” research and insights, using women’s storytelling on multiple platforms to educate readers on the unimaginable layers of perpetrators’ modus operandi of violence, manipulation, and deceit.

At times raw, painful, and shocking, this book is an important resource for those who have survived such crimes; professionals who support those victimized by torturers and traffickers; police, legal professionals, criminologists, human rights activists, and educators alike. It reveals how healing and claiming one’s relationship with/to/for Self is possible.

About the author

Jeanne Sarson and Linda MacDonald spent twenty-eight years developing ways of offering care and healing to women who, as children and or as adults, survived being tortured, trafficked, and who suffered other forms of sexualized exploitation inflicted by their parent(s), a guardian, or a spouse. And they welcomed hearing from other women who suffered torture when exploited in prostitution or pornographic violence. They have stood persistent to defy social willingness to ignore that such violence existed by calling for non-State torture to be criminalized and they utilize their website www.nonstatetorture.org to promote global awareness.

Their ground-breaking work began in 1993, fifteen years before the United Nations Committee against Torture ventured to write, in 2008, that acts of torture committed by private individuals or groups are specific human rights violations. Since 2004, they have been promoting its recognition in side event panels at United Nations sessions in New York, Geneva, and Vienna. With a co-authored chapter included in the book, Gendered Perspective on Torture: Law and Practice, launched at the United Nations by Ambassadors from Denmark and Norway, in response to former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Méndez’s innovative work on gender perspectives on torture. They celebrate this publication because back in 1993 they could find no literature on how to offer recovery care to women who survived such torture; they made it a goal to break this silence. They have done so with dozens of publications. Now they detail the intimacies of their journey in Women Unsilenced.

They value their friendship that has flourished as they travelled through offering care, hope, and belief to women during their work of recovery. They are often asked how two women—two nurses—who live in a little Canadian Nova Scotia town managed to achieve what they have. Their answer is simple: “We cared!”

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