President Jahjaga and the Duchess of Cornwall met with a group of women survivors of sexual violence during the war in Kosovo

President of the Republic of Kosovo, Mrs Atifete Jahjaga, together with the Duchess of Cornwall, met today with a group of women, survivors of sexual violence during the war in Kosovo. Meeting was also attended by representatives of some of the NGO’s which offer services to the survivors.

President Jahjaga expressed her appreciation for the attention provided by the Duchess of Cornwall to this great wound of our society, a war consequence, by listening to the histories of the women of Kosovo, as a strong message of support to all survivors of sexual violence during the war in Kosovo.

President Jahjaga stated that the histories of these women are grave ones, and they do tell the macabre crime committed upon them by Serbian regime, but they are also stories of strength of these women to survive the crime, to rebuild their lives, to ask for their rights, and above all, to ask for justice.

Madam President also added that sexual violence has been used as a tool of war in Kosovo to affect the dignity of the victims, to incite the feeling of fear and oppression, to induce displacement and to unveil a whole society of their human values.

She pointed out that this subject has for a long time been a taboo for the society and the institutions of the country, but with the establishment of the National Council on Survivors of Sexual Violence during the War, great steps ahead have been undertaken in order to offer legal protection, better access to justice and healthcare services, as well as for their economic empowerment.

President Jahjaga informed the Duchess of Cornwall that she has received the very first applications today from women asking for legal recognition of their status as survivors of sexual violence during the war, and added that this marks the official commencement of this very important process.

Duchess of Cornwall said that she has had the opportunity to hear similar histories in other countries of the world but she has never before heard such painful and terrible histories of this war crime.

She added that she will engage that histories of the women of Kosovo are also heard abroad and encouraged them to share their stories in order to break the social stigma which encircles this crime of war.

Duchess of Cornwall expressed great interest in learning from women themselves on their endeavours to survive this crime of war, and called them wonderful women. She also added that she is convinced that they will survive this crime, especially now that they have institutional support by President Jahjaga.

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