On 9 November, the Zonta Club of Brooklyn, USA, invited Linda MacDonald and Jeanne Sarson, two retired public health nurses, who have spent the past 28 years as grassroots supporters of women who have survived non-State torture (NST), trafficking and sexualized exploitation perpetrated within intimate relationships. Though Linda and Jeanne work predominately in Canada, they counseled governments, UN agencies and NGOs worldwide on violence inflicted on women and girls. They advocate the need for women’s voices to be heard.
During the segment, the club felt staggered by the statistics quoted by Linda and Jeanne and was especially touched by the voices they shared. The speakers talked about the concept of “non-State torture,” a term they coined to address all forms of violence and torture against women and girls. Getting laws changed to recognize this abuse as torture is their life’s goal, and they have recently published a book on the subject.
The club recorded the program and sent it to the Zonta USA Caucus. They are planning on partnering with the local chapter of National Organization Women (NOW) on a 3-part seminar on human trafficking.