Podcast No. 89. Simon & Sergei – with Marina Pisklakova-Parker

This week our guest on the podcast is Marina Pisklakova-Parker. Marina Pisklakova-Parker is a Russian women’s rights activist and writer. She is the founder of ANNA (Regional Organization for Assistance to Women and Children Victims of Domestic Violence), one of the first women’s crisis centres in Russia to help victims of domestic violence. Marina has also addressed the problem of trafficking in women and children.

The issues discussed in the podcast include: the founding of ANNA, the first such centre in Russia; ANNA’s activities in the early years; the main activities of ANNA today; changes in perceptions of domestic violence in Russia since the early 1990s; the extent to which the state is a positive and reliable partner in working against domestic violence; religious attitudes to domestic violence; the future of human rights in general in Russia and domestic violence in particular.

This podcast is in Russian. You can listen to it in full here:

You can also listen to the podcast on Podcasts.comSoundCloud,  Spotify,  iTunes and Anchor

The music, from Stravinsky’s Elegy for Solo Viola, is performed for us by Karolina Herrera.

Given the length of the podcast, we have also divided it into five parts that you can listen to separately.

Part One: The founding of ANNA and how the organisation’s activities have changed over the years:

Part Two: Public attitudes to domestic violence in Russia:

Part Three: Official attitudes to domestic violence in Russia:

Part Four: Religion and domestic violence in Russia:

Part Five: The future of combating domestic violence in Russia and the protection of human rights:

Sergei Nikitin writes on Facebook: Marina Pisklakova-Parker: “This was not the first crisis centre. The ANNA centre appeared in parallel with one in St. Petersburg, and near the time the Sisters centre began working in Moscow. I created my first telephone hotline in 1992. The impetus for this work came from gender research, which became available to us only in post-Soviet Russia. I started to receive letters from victims. It was from these letters that my interest in the issue began, because no one talks about domestic violence. This is what drove me to do it.” In our conversation, Marina talked about the prospects for passing a law on domestic violence in Russia and about the connection between so-called ‘traditional values’ and violence against women. About the fact that citizens, alas, do not understand what rights they have and do not know how to use them. And about how ANNA helps. ANNA has accumulated huge experience in the fight against the scourge of domestic violence over three decades. The organisation has united specialists from the regions and countries of the former Soviet Union into an informal network which continues to grow and develop. They provide assistance, conduct monitoring, interact, educate themselves and others, and share their experiences. Only by joining together can gender-based violence be defeated.

Simon Cosgrove adds:  A summary of some of the week’s events in Russia relevant to human rights can be found on our website here.

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