Two nurses from Truro, N.S., took their message urging global action on domestic torture of women and girls to the human rights council of the United Nations in Geneva on Wednesday.
Jeanne Sarson and Linda MacDonald travelled to Switzerland where they were one of four so-called "civil society representatives" selected to address the UN Human Rights Council membership of 47 states, including China, the U.S. and Afghanistan.
heir long-repeated message has been that torture isn't just meted out by government officials and agents. Women and girls can be tortured by parents and family members, with atrocities including human trafficking, prostitution, enslavement or pornographic victimization.
Naming it torture gives continuing crimes against family members the attention and weight it deserves, they believe.
"Non-State Torture is identified as a distinct and specific crime and human rights offence which must not be misnamed as being another form of crime such as an assault causing bodily harm or abuse," their website nonstatetorture.org says.
MacDonald said it felt "very affirming" for her and Sarson to make the joint statement to the council.
"Non-state torture is rising up in awareness in the human rights world which is a great victory for survivors because we always take their voices with us," said MacDonald.