Music as an act of defiance will never be silenced: A call for justice for Valentina

Today we learned of an assassination attack on Valentina Buchok, an active member of SEMA – the survivor network supported by our Healing in Harmony partners the Mukwege Foundation. Below is a statement from our founder and CEO Darcy Ataman. Read the Mukwege Foundation’s statement here.

Make Music Matter strongly condemns the assassination attack on Valentina Buchok. Valentina is a critical ally in the fight against sexual violence in the Ukraine. She is a human rights activist, artist, and a vital member of the Ukrainian survivor network supported by our partner and friends at the Mukwege Foundation.

Despite being a survivor of sexual violence herself, being held captive in isolation for over a year, and surviving numerous other assassination attempts and threats, Valentina continued to speak truth to power. She has fearlessly worked to bring awareness both in her homeland and globally by telling her story and reminding us all continuously that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Cowardice thrives in an environment of impunity and this was gravely exemplified in this latest attack on Valentina. Faceless men slung grenades into her back yard and home, trying to silence the blood, bones, and sinew of her voice but missing the eternal flame that is her spirit and the values and ideology that it represents.

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. In that spirit we demand the call for a thorough, independent, and immediate investigation and prosecution of those who are responsible. Faceless violence is an act of cowardice, driven by self-serving individuals wishing to maintain a shrinking position of status quo.

It is time that the same critical, searing spotlight and stigma bestowed upon the brave survivors of sexual violence, artists and activists like Valentina, be turned upon the perpetrators and supporters of this increasingly deadly state of affairs.

Hope prevails, justice will prevail, and the music joyfully sung as an act of defiance will never be silenced.


Darcy Ataman

Founder & CEO, Make Music Matter

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