On 19 June, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa attended two events related to the Stand Speak Rise Up! international forum she organised in March. The conference aimed to raise awareness and find solutions to end sexual violence in fragile environments. The 19 of June is also the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.
Grand Duchess Maria Teresa first visited Jacques Schneider’s workshop – the Kritzel Fabrik – where she had the opportunity to learn more about his work following the Stand Speak Rise Up! forum. Jacques Schneider showed the Grand Duchess an exhibition of photographs showing the important moments of the conference. During her visit, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa also inaugurated a wall for signatures. The wall will be opened to the public until 19 September, and everyone who wishes to do so can sign the wall to show their support to the elimination of sexual violence in conflict following the Grand Duchess’s appeal to the public after the conference.
Later that day, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa granted an audience to the Luxembourg City Tourist Office at the Grand Ducal Palace. The President of LCTO, Mark Angel; Director, Tom Bellion; and Deputy Director, Martine Voss gave the Grand Duchess a cheque of 38 734,38€ for the Foundation of the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess. Indeed, the LCTO decided to give the profits of all the guided tour in 2018 to the Foundation. During the audience, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa announced that this money would help projects that were started after or are supported by the Stand Speak Rise Up! international forum.
The Stand Speak Rise Up! international forum was a success, and in her closing speech, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa said:” I would like this forum to allow a real dynamic of justice to be put in place. Impunity is still too often the rule for perpetrators of sexual violence. These women need help to rebuild themselves physically, psychically and emotionally. The hand we give them is the least we can do about the horrors they have suffered.”
The elimination of sexual violence in conflict is one of Grand Duchess Maria Teresa’s major causes, and she works closely with several associations to help and raise awareness as much as she can.