The report states that ten times more children in conflict areas are at risk of being sexually abused. Now there are 72 millions, or 17% of children in such areas. The danger is greatest in Yemen, Somalia, Syria and Iraq.
Ewa Sapiezynska, a consultant at Save the Children and one of the authors of the report, says this is partly due to better information, but also that the war has intensified and shifted to a larger population. area. “But our research also shows that the majority of armed groups who commit sexual offenses in war in recent years have also committed offenses against children.”
Such offenses were reported in 750 in the year 2019 but Sapiezynska says many more. Violence is used to provoke fear, humiliation, punishment and even ethnic cleansing. “Some armed groups use sexual violence as a social tool to strengthen the cohesion of the group to which they belong. We believe that sexual violence is a weapon of war, whether it is used militarily or opportunistically. ”
Sapiezynska says that victims often find it difficult to establish themselves in life if they survive. They need support, but it also needs to prevent violence. There is a need to increase communication between charities and the government, but also to punish those who break the law. “If it is not done, they feel nothing can happen to them. This is a vicious circle. So we need to do more to make those who commit such crimes responsible. “