Syrian women and girls allege use of sexual violence as weapon of war

From Aid | The Guardian Mon Jan 14 2013, 00:00:01

Women interviewed for International Rescue Committee report tell of attacks involving kidnap, rape, torture and murder

Rape is a "significant and disturbing" feature of the Syrian civil war, with women and girls citing sexual violence as their main reason for fleeing the country, according to a report published on Monday.

Women and girls told the International Rescue Committee (IRC) of being attacked in public and in their homes, primarily by armed men. The rapes, sometimes by several men, often occurred in front of family members.

"The stories we've heard, talking to Syrian women, are truly horrific," said Sanj Srikanthan, IRC-UK emergency field director. "Many of these women have experienced rape and torture in Syria, but as refugees [they] can't find the support they need to heal their physical and emotional scars - let alone provide food and shelter for their families."

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