Amit Sosna participated in a conference at the White House at the invitation of Vice President Kamala Harris

Amit Sosna, who was released from captivity by Hamas after 55 days, spoke at an event dedicated to the issue of eradicating sexual violence in conflicts today (Tuesday) at the White House. The conference was initiated by the Vice President of the USA Kamala Harris. Amit Sosna said to the Vice President: “The meaning of being in captivity is not to control the mind, body and soul.”

Amit opened her speech and said: “If you had told me a few months ago, when I was in captivity, that I would be here and meet the vice president – I would have told you that you had lost your mind.”

Amit also added in her speech: “I am not a victim, I am a strong and independent woman and I will not let them take that away from me. No woman should have to go through the sexual assault I went through in captivity. So I had no choice, but now I can talk about the horrible things that are still happening to Women and men who are there, I promised that I would fight for my brothers who are still in captivity.”

Harris is known for many initiatives related to helping victims of sexual violence, among others she launched the ‘Dignity in Documentation Initiative’, which deals with sexual violence in conflicts at the global level and support for survivors through UN efforts and leadership programs. Last night this initiative was launched at the White House, to mark the “International Day for the Elimination of Violence At the launch, Harris spoke about the gender violence perpetrated by Hamas in Israel on October 7, as well as about gender violence in conflicts in other countries such as South Sudan, Haiti and Iraq.

Sheryl Sandberg’s documentary, “Screams and then Silence”, documenting the sexual violence of Hamas on October 7, was also screened at the event.

Harris expressed support for the victims of Hamas’ sexual violence back in October, and expressed deep shock at the photos and documents that came into her possession. Also, Harris met with Sosna, who told her about her experiences and the things she was exposed to in captivity.

Now at the conference, Harris said: “These testimonies, I’m afraid, will only increase as more hostages are released. We cannot look away and we will not remain silent. My heart breaks for all the survivors and their families and for all the pain and suffering caused in the last eight months in Israel and Gaza.”

Harris said she and President Joe Biden are “deeply concerned about the reports of sexual violence and humiliation” and that’s why they made it clear that Hamas should accept the cease-fire agreement on the table, which would bring home the abductees and lead to an end to the fighting.

“It is the responsibility of all of us: governments, international organizations, civil society and private citizens to actively confront sexual violence in conflicts and work to rid our world of this heinous crime,” Harris said. “We must do what is necessary to hold the perpetrators accountable.”

By Editor

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