- Clara Giaminardi
Stand with us to Eliminate Sexual Violence in Conflict
Updated: Jul 17, 2022
19 June marks the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.
From Ukraine to South Sudan, sexual violence is weaponised to punish opposition, dehumanise or break communities. Such violations imply devastating long-term physical, psychological as well as socio-economic impacts for victims as well as their families and communities.
Watch survivors speak about the impacts of CRSV in South Sudan, and donate to our Campaign
Rights for Peace works hard to empower survivors to pursue justice to restore their dignity and obtain reparation. As put by a survivor at a focus group about justice and reparation in South Sudan:
Because I am a human being and not an animal, I have the right to reparation. The dignity that belongs to me needs to be restored.
Rights for Peace's work supports a survivor-led approach to advocacy, empowering and amplifying survivors' rights and concerns around justice and reparations.
As published in our Study, survivors of CRSV have spoken of extreme unmet needs, including:
Support for mothers and children born of rape
Need for community awareness to address stigma
Protection against reprisals
Up to 65% of women and girls in South Sudan have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. CRSV in the country also affects men, boys and children, with numbers in these demographics thought to be exponentially higher than the reported cases, due to stigma, discrimination and laws against homosexuality, and the vulnerable living conditions of victims such as street children and orphans.
Children born of CRSV are also affected by violence. Stigma and discrimination often lead them to be rejected by the husbands of survivors and by the community, with extreme cases leading to infanticide. Survivors spoke of the need for greater protection for children born of CRSV, including specialised educational spaces, psychological support services for mothers, availability of adoption programmes and greater sensitisation of men around these issues.
Many survivors speak of their hopes and fears regarding justice and reparations. In particular they talk of the need for safe spaces in which they can start to heal, find strength in a community and start to raise awareness with others that it was not their fault. They need to counter the extreme stigma as well as gain financial independence.
To learn more about our work on justice and reparations for CRSV survivors, you can read our Study on the Status of and Opportunities for Reparations for Survivors of CRSV in South Sudan, or blogs about our activities on the ground.
Help us eliminate CRSV. Please donate now.