More than words are needed to put a stop to sexual violence.25.06.2019
Sexual violence in war zones is often talked about by the media and the Nobel Peace Prize 2018, which went to Dr Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad, has meant the issue is now regularly discussed. However, simply talking about it is not enough. Words do not stop bullets, so why would they stop sexual violence?
Sexual violence is devastating for survivors, resulting in physical and mental damage, stigmatisation, rejection and abandonment by family members and the community. It also leads to the loss of their livelihood and a weakening of the social fabric of societies where these atrocities are committed. It is estimated there are hundreds of thousands of victims of sexual violence in hot spots around the world.
So how can we put a stop to these practices, which should be confined to history? The answer is by being present on the ground! Skilled, expert humanitarian teams working in war zones are able to prevent such violence by promoting respect for the law of war.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) works extensively with survivors of sexual violence in regions where far too often it is the only civil society actor and humanitarian organisation present. In many countries it provides medical, psychological, psychosocial and material support, as well as legal advice to governments, in order to increase the legal protection of survivors. It also works with other members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, such as the Luxembourg Red Cross.
Please support the ICRC in its work against sexual violence. Thanks to your donations, we are able to continue doing such important work.
On behalf of all survivors of sexual violence, we would like to thank you from the very bottom of our heart.
Institutional Lead on Sexual Violence of the International Committee of the Red Cross