The epidemic of rape and sexual violence continues to stalk all of Darfur. As a study by Physicians for Human Rights has shown, the health consequences of rape are staggering, with enormous implications for the well-being of women and girls who have been attacked.
Women and men in Tunisia and around the world were appalled earlier this month when it came to light that a woman who filed charges of rape against two police officers was herself charged with "public indecency."
Syria has been in conflict since March of 2011, when anti-government forces began a movement to overthrow the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and his Ba’ath Party. The fighting has left indelible scars on the country as government and opposition forces battle it out in small towns and large cities. Rape is, sadly, part of the tragic landscape. Physicians for Human Rights, among other human rights organizations, is looking at post-conflict interventions, trying to evaluate how to best treat people and to understand the cultural differences that impact such treatment.
"For tens of thousands of women and girls who are raped in conflict zones, forced pregnancy poses life threatening risks, multiple layers of physical and mental trauma, and also contributes to the destruction of family and community," Susannah Sirkin, deputy director of Physicians for Human Rights, said. "We believe that it is a medical imperative for survivors of sexual violence to have access to comprehensive reproductive health services without restrictions."
In the News
CTV News interviews Lauren Wolfe, director of Women Under Seige, about the prevalence of rape in war. Wolfe cites PHR's report from 2009, Nowhere to Turn, on women in Darfur.