Women’s Groups & Elected Leaders Condemn Rape as Weapon of War 

Women’s Groups & Elected Leaders Condemn Rape as Weapon of War 

Demand investigation, accountability, release of hostages on 2-month mark of October 7th terrorist attacks


(New York – December 7, 2023) –

In the two months since the horrific October 7th terrorist attacks in Israel, overwhelming evidence has emerged that Hamas attackers perpetrated widespread acts of rape and sexual violence against numerous civilians.


Below is a statement signed by Gloria Steinem, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, women’s rights leaders, and many hundreds of individuals, which calls attention to the rape and other war crimes that occurred on Oct. 7th and demands a full investigation, accountability, and the release of all hostages. Today that statement was delivered to Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations.


Two months after the attacks, the signatories remember the victims. We unequivocally denounce the use of rape as a weapon of war, which is a crime against humanity.  We call for a thorough, skillful, and unbiased investigation of acts of rape and sexual violence perpetrated by Hamas and other terrorist groups against Israeli women, girls and others on and after October 7th. We call for perpetrators of war crimes to be held accountable by all relevant authorities including the International Criminal Court.


“These sexualized brutal crimes against civilians are crimes against humanity, and they must be recognized and investigated and never forgotten,” said Carolyn Maloney, President of NOW-NY.


“I grieve for the victims and their families,” said New York State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin.  “Rape as a war crime is intolerable and must be unequivocally denounced.”


“As a prosecutor who has fought for sex crime victims for decades, I know it is critical to speak out and acknowledge what we can see with our own eyes for these victims, for victims who may still be suffering atrocities, and for women everywhere,” said Mimi Rocah, District Attorney of Westchester County.  “I am proud to be part of this group using their voices.”


We demand the immediate, unconditional release of all remaining hostages, so that they can receive desperately needed treatment for trauma and other serious medical conditions. We affirm that continuing to hold these kidnapped hostages captive is an ongoing violation of international law. We say to these hostages and their loved ones: you are not alone and you are not forgotten.


We stand with the victims of gender based atrocities, with the survivors and with those who did not survive, and we raise our voices in solidarity with them.



The National Organization for Women – New York (NOW-NY) advocates for women and girls across our state by working to defend reproductive rights, fight economic inequality, and end discrimination and violence against women.




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