When studying in Jordan last fall, I was stunned by the silence around sexual violence experienced by women in Syrian refugee camps. In Arab communities, where social stigma and family honor carry huge weight, consequences of sexual violence extend far beyond scarring psychological trauma to fear of alienation and even honor killing.
Sexual violence is a grave problem the world over, but it is particularly prevalent in conflict zones like the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo where I live and practice medicine. I frequently treat survivors of sexual violence, and many of my patients have been victims of this terrible crime on more than one occasion.
As atrocities committed by the self-declared Islamic State (IS), also called ISIS or ISIL, dominate media headlines, we must not forget the civilians who have been suffering since long before IS gained a stronghold in parts of Syria and Iraq.
While investment in Burma’s infrastructure is welcome, support for development without also addressing accountability and reconciliation perpetuates impunity for perpetrators of human rights violations.
As health workers fan out across the Ebola-stricken areas of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, they are facing a battle on two fronts: fighting Ebola and addressing the fears, rumors, and myths of those at risk of Ebola.