- PPI Web Desk
New York: Throughout the history of mankind until today, sexual violence has been a very cruel “tactic” of war, used to break the enemy. June 19th, represents the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, to remember the uncounted number of victims.
Rape and sexual violence in conflict and war is not just about sex or lust, but about dominance. Seeing women and children breaking emotionally, mentally and physical, is a sadistic “victory” to the perpetrators, a way of winning a “war”. Sexual violence is a cheap, easy and extremely effective weapon to break the enemy.
Whenever a conflict erupts, sexual violence, rape is present. In Yemen alone there has been a 70% increase in such horrendous crimes. In the Democratic Republic of Congo approximately 48 women were raped every hour in 2019, according to the UN. The UN estimates that for every one reported case in conflict zones, 10-20 are not.
This cruel practice of rape during conflicts is an act of war-crime and cannot be tolerated. Perpetrators must be persecuted and punished.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become more difficult to hold perpetrators of sexual violence responsible, in places affected by conflicts and war. Survivors face new problems to report sexual crimes and get access to support services. Most survivors don’t get appropriate treatment, counseling or justice.
The UN has already urged nations to investigate every case and ensure essential services for every survivor. The pandemic is no excuse for under-reported crimes to slip further into the shadows. To end such cruelty, perpetrators must be punished.
“On this International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, let’s resolve to uphold the rights and meet the needs of all survivors, as we work to prevent and end these horrific crimes,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said.