Domestic abuse is devastating my home country of Russia: More than 12,000 women in Russia died from this type of violence between 2011 and 2019, according to a recent study. The vast majority of these cases occurred at the hands of intimate partners. The remaining victims were killed by members of their own family.
Like so many, I lost family members to assassinations, in my case my father and brother. Despite the oppression of women in my country, my family always supported my education, and I was motivated to study law to try to bring about justice.
I never meant to become an activist, but this experience changed my life. I had been aware of this traditional practice, but didn’t understand the gravity of the situation. I knew then that I had to keep fighting for the twins, and to end all kinds of violence against women and girls.
Violence against women and girls is the most pressing human rights issue of our time. Deemed “devastatingly pervasive” by the World Health Organization, it affects 1 in 3 women globally.