But there is consensus that it is time to end impunity for sexual violence. How to do this is the challenge. There are many answers to this question, and it may include better monitoring and protection of the vulnerable in society, civic education amongst others. But paramount among these is strengthening the prosecution of sexual violence cases.
Susannah Sirkin, Deputy Director at Physicians for Human Rights, blogs about the physical and psychological effects from sexual violence in conflict.
PHR's Susannah Sirkin writes on CNN Opinion: "Some of the bravest people I know are cowering today in eastern Congo, wondering where their supporters are. While our daily news zeroes in on Syria and Gaza, the fiscal cliff and Christmas sales, our friends in the war-ravaged part of the immense, mineral-rich Democratic Republic of the Congo are once again convulsed in a conflict they did not choose."
The PSVI external Steering Board was established to advise the Foreign Secretary as the UK continues its campaign for new international action against sexual and gender-based violence in conflict and post-conflict situations. The Board is made up of representatives from several national and international organizations, including Physicians for Human Rights.
PHR’s close ally Dr. Denis Mukwege recently survived a near-fatal attack at his home in Eastern Congo in the lead-up to the extraordinary violence that has engulfed the region. Dr. Mukwege is renowned for his work treating victims of sexual violence. PHR’s Susannah Sirkin told The Lancet, “The biggest impact is Mukwege's voice and any attempt to silence his voice is harmful to past and future victims.” PHR is now calling on the Congolese government to fully investigate the attack.