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The most important peace prize in our time

at the same time that we are gathered to celebrate this year's prize laureates are people in conflict areas exposed to systematic sexual abuse. Rape is used tactically to belittle and destroy women and children – and men, and create lasting injuries in the victims and in the rest of the community. This year's award throws light on these horrific consequences of sexual violence in war.

the War should not be waged on the bodies of women and children.

Natalie Gentle Show more

two years ago I was in Iraq along with five other volunteers from the Human-Ethical Union. We should learn more about jesidiene, a religious minority that has been subjected to the stigma and persecution for a long time. Those we met told us of all the 74 mass murder in the course of the last 1600 years.

The most brutal attack took still place in 2014, when the ICE invaded the villages in the north of Iraq. We remember nyhetsbildene of jesidier trapped on Sinjar mountain, surrounded by ICE-soldiers. The attack that started in 2014 is so serious that it is today considered as genocide.

During our stay in Iraq, we were in two cities where the Norwegian people's Aid is working. We visited the shelters that help women who manage to escape, and in flyktningleiren Khanke we met desperate family members waited on news of their loved ones. At the same time in the neighboring city of Mosul, was several thousand jesidier still held captive by the ICE.

Everywhere we went there was a person who was mentioned again and again – and it was Nadia Murad. Nadia provides jesidiene hope. The hope that their suffering is not forgotten.

For when the combat ends and the weapons laid down, goes the world fast on. But for the survivors, it is precisely when it starts. It is demanding work to heal both the physical and psychological damage IS caused.

I am among those who survived the attack on Utøya island 22. July 2011. I have known the body how important it is to get help to process the traumatic events. Norway as a nation was in shock and pain. We needed enough all someone to kick us on and get support from in the time after. Many need it still. And in the aftermath of the attack, we have been able to take care of each other, provide and process, and not at least ask the perpetrator to responsibility.

For jesidiene is not attacked over yet. Four years after the is 3000 women and children still in captivity of ICE. Four years after the horrific experiences Nadia and other survivors tell of daily life for many – and the perpetrators go free.

In a dark reality is this year's peace prize a beacon. The work of Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege saves lives and gives hope. So let us raise the torches our honor for them – and in the fight against rape as a weapon.

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