Marina Pisklakova

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Marina Pisklakova "is Russia’s leading women’s rights activist. She studied aeronautical engineering in Moscow, and while conducting research at the Russian Academy of Sciences, was startled to discover family violence had reached epidemic proportions. Because of her efforts, Russian officials started tracking domestic abuse and estimate that, in a single year, close to fifteen thousand women were killed and fifty thousand were hospitalized, while only one-third to one-fifth of all battered women received medical assistance. With no legislation outlawing the abuse, there were no enforcement mechanisms, support groups, or protective agencies for victims. In July 1993, Pisklakova founded a hot line for women in distress, later expanding her work to establish the first women’s crisis center in the country. She lobbied for legislation banning abuse, and worked with an openly hostile law enforcement establishment to bring aid to victims and prosecution to criminals. She began a media campaign to expose the violence against women and to educate women about their rights, and regularly appears on radio and television promoting respect for women’s rights. Pisklakova’s efforts have saved countless lives, at great risk to her own." [1]

She is also a member of the Human Rights Watch Women's Rights Advisory Committee, a "Research Associate and Director of the Crisis Center for Women, Institute for Socio-Economic Problems of Population, Russian Academy of Science." [2]