Survivors Speak OUT welcome new sexual violence initiative launched by Angelina Jolie-Pitt

Today William Hague and Angelina Jolie Pitt launched a new Centre for Women, Peace and Security (CWPS) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

First Secretary of State William Hague and United Nations Special Envoy Angelina Jolie-Pitt today launched the UK's first academic Centre on Women, Peace and Security, to be based at the LSE.

Mr Hague and Ms Jolie-Pitt announced the establishment of the initiative to students and the academic colleagues who will lead the new centre. Members of the Survivors Speak OUT (SSO) network , including the coordinator Kolbassia Haoussou, were also in attendance at the ceremony.

Last year Freedom from Torture clinicians and Survivors Speak OUT members were involved in advising the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on an International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict.

The CWPS will focus on the participation of women in conflict-related processes and on enhancing accountability and ending impunity for rape and sexual violence in war. It will build on the aims of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI)

SSO Co-ordinator Kolbassia Haoussou said:

"We are very glad that this subject will be under study at a dedicated institute. However it is important that the survivor voice is at the heart of the debate as well as the solutions. It is not just about listening to survivors but also working together to find strategies to prevent sexual violence in the future."