Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Syria

600 WordsFeb 26, 20182 Pages
In the midst of conflict, particularly civil wars, violence is indiscriminate in choosing its victim. But without question women and girls are the most vulnerable members of society when it comes to facing sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). SGBV in conflict is widespread, and affects a large number of women and children. SGBV in conflict has a number of manifestations, at times used deliberately as a tactic or strategy to destroy or degrade one’s political opponent or members of ethnic or religious minorities. At times it is a result of ill-disciplined armed forces where impunity for such actions exists. Yet regardless of the driving force, the result remains the same—a devastating effect on individuals and societies, bringing about the essential collapse of social structures and norms. When victims are plucked from the youngest generations, such violence has a damaging effect on the potential for peace and stability in the society’s future. In August 2013, the International Commission of Inquiry on Syria reported that “[s]exual violence has played a prominent role in the conflict [in Syria] owing to the fear and threat of rape and by the violence committed” . It occurs during raids, at checkpoints and in detention centres and prisons across the country. The threat of rape is used as a tool to terrorize and punish women, men and children perceived as being associated with the opposition. Underreporting and delayed report[s] of sexual violence is endemic, making an

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