Unsung Heroines: Married Lesbian Couple Save 40 Children from Norway Massacre

Everyone will have heard of the tragedy in Norway a few weeks ago when a ‘Christian Fundamentalist’ murdered 77 people and injured 96 more. The story has received non-stop coverage by the international media and press. What has not hit the headlines is the story of the lesbian couple who rescued 40 teenagers during and after the event. Some bloggers and gay and lesbian groups are currently running the story, but the major newspapers have remained silent, despite the fact they usually wrestle for hero-stories.

Hege Dalen and Toril Hansen

Helsingin Sanomat, the Finnish capital city’s largest daily paper, published the following account (translated from the original):

“Hege Dalen and her spouse, Toril Hansen were near Utöyan having dinner on the opposite shore across from the ill-fated campsite, when they began to hear gunfire and screaming on the island.”

In the interview, Dale said:

“We were eating. Then shooting and then the awful screaming. We saw how the young people ran in panic into the lake.”

The couple immediately jumped into action and pushed their boat into Lake Tyrifjorden. They sailed to the island, rescuing victims from the water and transporting them to the shoreline. They made the journey four times, despite the fact the boat was hit several times by bullets. They rescued 40 young people from the attack. Dalen said, “We did not sleep last night at all. Today, we have been together and talked about the events.”

Hege Dalen wrote on Facebook about the shooting. On July 22 she updated her status to say she was involved in the drama at Utøya.

Were it not for Dalen and Hansen, the death toll on the island would have been much higher. Many are speculating that their story has gone virtually unreported until now because of their sexual orientation. The blog, Talk About Equality asks: “If a married lesbian couple saves 40 teens from theNorway massacre and no-one writes about it, did it really happen?” The writer of the blog asks, “Please share this story and make sure people know the heroism of Hege and Toril.” This acknowledgement does at least a little towards giving them the recognition and commendation they deserve for their actions.






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Categories: Events, People

Author:Mary-Ellen L

Lives at www.animadvert.co.uk. Lecturer in Literature and Philosophy, Poet and Professional Cynic.

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  1. An untold Story: The Norway Massacre “Heroines” « LGBT Coverage in Global Media - September 22, 2011

    […] http://intentious.com/2011/08/04/unsung-heroines/ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Comments RSS feed […]

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