How Ukrainian Women Will Suffer by Julie Bindel
It’s not just Russian men waiting to exploit them
by Julie Bindel
March 8, 2022
Suddenly, images of Ukrainian women are all over the internet. Most of them are mothers, fleeing Russian convoys, carrying their children across borders.
Many of them are leaving husbands and brothers behind to fight.
But these heart-wrenching photographs, published by the mainstream media, are only part of the story. Ukrainian women will suffer in myriad ways before this war is over.
Pornhub has a new category: “Ukrainian girls and war rape videos”; it is dominated by Russian soldiers documenting disgustingly brutal crimes.
Domestic violence and street harassment have already spiked.
Female refugees are falling victim to pimps and traffickers; official channels — the police, hospitals, legal systems — won’t help them.
Where women are concerned, “the foreign coverage of the war is concentrated mostly on women fleeing with children”, Maria Dmytrieva tells me. The Ukrainian feminist activist — a key member of the Global Network of Women Peacekeepers — believes this coverage misrepresents the reality of war for women, and the ways in which women specifically become targets for attack.
…Domestic violence is not the only threat to women in war. There is a “new wave of sexual violence”, with 11 reports from different women that they were raped by Russian soldiers in Kershon, confirmed by a local gynaecologist. Of those 11, only five survived. Other reports of sexual violation by troops are being picked up by the UK media, but, according to Dmytrieva, little is being done to help.
Rape victims will suffer consequences long after the conflict has ended — especially those whose violation is circulated on the internet.
The existence of this sick revenge porn ensures that the women brutalised in it will never be able to return to a normal life. Even if they escape the conflict, it then ends, and they make it home, they are likely to be shunned by their families.
The videos are perfect ammunition for pimps and traffickers to use to control women and force them into prostitution.
Displaced women and girls are often without any food, shelter or income, with many caring for children. Traffickers seize the opportunity to coerce women into selling sex, and soon they are trapped and held captive. …
…“Organised gangs [are] trying to abduct young women on the Ukrainian Polish border and we already have several cases in Germany where the girls have been abducted by pimps in the refugee camps”, Dmytrieva explains….
With many living alone in dire conditions or unable to care for themselves, these forgotten women are among those least able to escape