Woman Protesting Against Sexual Violence Storms Cannes Red Carpet
On the Cannes red carpet for the premiere of George Miller’s ‘Three Thousand Years of Longing’, many famous directors and Hollywood stars were in attendance to promote the event. With hundreds of paparazzi and news outlets surrounding the venue, a topless woman covered in body paint with the words “STOP RAPING US” stepped in front of the cameras.
According to reporter Kyle Buchanan (New York Times), the woman started to strip off all her clothes and fell to her knees screaming in front of photographers. She revealed her semi-naked body with paint resembling the colors of the Ukrainian flag. The words “stop raping us” was written across her abdomen, and the word “scum” was painted in bright red paint on her back.
This protest comes amidst the growing reports of rape and sexual violence after Russian soldiers invaded Ukraine. Many accounts of sexual violence are emerging, with victims ranging from the ages of one to sixty. Lyudmyla Denisova, Ukraine's human rights ombudswoman, reports that more than two dozen women and girls were "systematically raped" after Russia seized Bucha, a suburban region near Kyiv.
Rape, a genocidal strategy, is a way of "team bonding" or “relief” for Russian troops. With the perpetrators attempting to bury the evidence, the sexual violence goes unnoticed. Women civilians are taking proper measures to share the atrocities with the media.
In response to the spike in sexual violence, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that true justice will be served only when the perpetrators are convicted. "How much longer must we wait? These courts, tribunals, and international courts have a long process ahead of them," he remarked.
By Emilie Chi