A hotline for rape and sexual assault victims by Russian troops in Ukraine has received 400 calls in just two weeks.
Lyudmyla Denisova, the Ombudsman for Human Rights in Ukraine said the line is so overwhelmed that the five psychologists who operate it ‘cannot cope with the load’.
Victims include adults and children, both male and female, with some attacked while terrified relatives were forced to watch, according to Daily Mail. In Bucha, 25 victims aged 14 to 25 were ‘systematically’ raped while being held captive in a basement. Nine are now pregnant.
The line, set up with Unicef, received 400 calls between April 1 and April 14 as Russian began to withdraw from the Kyiv region, after a failed attempt to capture the capital.
Mrs. Denisova said: ‘Our five psychologists cannot cope with this load.
‘I asked Unicef to almost double the number of psychologists, to ensure that the care is of good quality and that there is no burnout, including those psychologists who receive such appeals day and night. And these cases are very terrible.’
Russia has denied allegations it is using rape as a ‘weapon of war’.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said earlier this month: ‘Hundreds of cases of rape have been recorded, including those of young girls and very young children. Even of a baby.’