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Amnesty: SexualViolence Endemicin SomaliaDisplaced Somali womenand girls are especiallyvulnerable to sexualassault.Friday, August 30, 2013Amnesty International saidtwo decades of conflicthave allowed sexualviolence to becomeendemic in Somalia. Thehuman rights group saysmost victims don’t reportthe attacks to authorities,fearing stigma.Amnesty says rape andsexual violence are aconstant threat in Somalia,especially for displacedwomen and girls. SeniorCrisis Adviser DonatellaRovera said researchersspoke with dozens ofvictims, one as young as13, in Mogadishu and incamps for the displaced.“Obviously, thehumanitarian conditionsare terrible and the lack ofsecurity is very prevalent.And this is a particularproblem for women andgirls because they are verymuch exposed to rape andsexual violence,” she said.The United Nationsreported in 2012 therewere at least 1700 cases ofrape in Somali settlementsfor internally displacedpeople . At least 70 percentof the attacks, it said, werecarried out by armed menwearing governmentuniforms.“Perpetrators are veryrarely brought to justice.Victims of these attacksare then stigmatizedwithin Somali society. Sothe combination of the fearof the stigmatization andthe lack of confidence thatreporting their case wouldlead to any justice meansthat in the majority ofcases the victims don’teven report the cases tothe police,” said Rovera.She said that police “donot have the capacity northe political will” toprovide the protectionneeded to prevent suchattacks – or to bring thoseresponsible to justice.Many of the women whowere attacked live inmake-shift shelters, withjust a piece of plastic for adoor. There’s noprotection from rapists,who usually attack in thenight. She told the story ofone woman, who has fourchildren and wasabandoned by herhusband.“She told me that she wasasleep in her little shelterwhen a man came in. Hehad a knife. It was night.She kept quiet because hethreatened to kill her. Thechildren were sleepingnext to her. He raped herand then he went away.And she told me that shehad not told anybodybecause she was afraidthat if she spoke to theneighbors about what hadhappened to her theywould just laugh at her orsay bad things about her.”Amnesty International’ssenior crisis adviser said alot “can and must bedone” to solve theproblem. She admitted it’svery difficult because thegovernment controls onlypart of the country. Manyother areas are controlledby armed groups andmilitias, such as alShabab.“But certainly wheregovernment forces arepresent, it is crucial thatthey take concretemeasures to first of all toensure security – andnotably, if we talk aboutthe IDP camps, the campsfor displaced people, wheremost of the rapes andsexual violence occur. Andsecondly, more needs to bedone to follow up on thosecases, which are reported,”she said.Rovera said, “The inabilityand unwillingness ofSomali authorities toinvestigate these crimes –and bring the attackers tojustice – leaves survivorsof sexual violence evenmore isolated.” She added,it also contributes to a“climate of impunity inwhich attackers know theycan get away with thesecrimes.”

Amnesty: Sexual
Violence Endemic
in Somalia
Displaced Somali women
and girls are especially
vulnerable to sexual
assault.
Friday, August 30, 2013
Amnesty International said
two decades of conflict
have allowed sexual
violence to become
endemic in Somalia. The
human rights group says
most victims don’t report
the attacks to authorities,
fearing stigma.
Amnesty says rape and
sexual violence are a
constant threat in Somalia,
especially for displaced
women and girls. Senior
Crisis Adviser Donatella
Rovera said researchers
spoke with dozens of
victims, one as young as
13, in Mogadishu and in
camps for the displaced.
“Obviously, the
humanitarian conditions
are terrible and the lack of
security is very prevalent.
And this is a particular
problem for women and
girls because they are very
much exposed to rape and
sexual violence,” she said.
The United Nations
reported in 2012 there
were at least 1700 cases of
rape in Somali settlements
for internally displaced
people . At least 70 percent
of the attacks, it said, were
carried out by armed men
wearing government
uniforms.
“Perpetrators are very
rarely brought to justice.
Victims of these attacks
are then stigmatized
within Somali society. So
the combination of the fear
of the stigmatization and
the lack of confidence that
reporting their case would
lead to any justice means
that in the majority of
cases the victims don’t
even report the cases to
the police,” said Rovera.
She said that police “do
not have the capacity nor
the political will” to
provide the protection
needed to prevent such
attacks – or to bring those
responsible to justice.
Many of the women who
were attacked live in
make-shift shelters, with
just a piece of plastic for a
door. There’s no
protection from rapists,
who usually attack in the
night. She told the story of
one woman, who has four
children and was
abandoned by her
husband.
“She told me that she was
asleep in her little shelter
when a man came in. He
had a knife. It was night.
She kept quiet because he
threatened to kill her. The
children were sleeping
next to her. He raped her
and then he went away.
And she told me that she
had not told anybody
because she was afraid
that if she spoke to the
neighbors about what had
happened to her they
would just laugh at her or
say bad things about her.”
Amnesty International’s
senior crisis adviser said a
lot “can and must be
done” to solve the
problem. She admitted it’s
very difficult because the
government controls only
part of the country. Many
other areas are controlled
by armed groups and
militias, such as al
Shabab.
“But certainly where
government forces are
present, it is crucial that
they take concrete
measures to first of all to
ensure security – and
notably, if we talk about
the IDP camps, the camps
for displaced people, where
most of the rapes and
sexual violence occur. And
secondly, more needs to be
done to follow up on those
cases, which are reported,”
she said.
Rovera said, “The inability
and unwillingness of
Somali authorities to
investigate these crimes –
and bring the attackers to
justice – leaves survivors
of sexual violence even
more isolated.” She added,
it also contributes to a
“climate of impunity in
which attackers know they
can get away with these
crimes.”

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One thought on “Amnesty: SexualViolence Endemicin SomaliaDisplaced Somali womenand girls are especiallyvulnerable to sexualassault.Friday, August 30, 2013Amnesty International saidtwo decades of conflicthave allowed sexualviolence to becomeendemic in Somalia. Thehuman rights group saysmost victims don’t reportthe attacks to authorities,fearing stigma.Amnesty says rape andsexual violence are aconstant threat in Somalia,especially for displacedwomen and girls. SeniorCrisis Adviser DonatellaRovera said researchersspoke with dozens ofvictims, one as young as13, in Mogadishu and incamps for the displaced.“Obviously, thehumanitarian conditionsare terrible and the lack ofsecurity is very prevalent.And this is a particularproblem for women andgirls because they are verymuch exposed to rape andsexual violence,” she said.The United Nationsreported in 2012 therewere at least 1700 cases ofrape in Somali settlementsfor internally displacedpeople . At least 70 percentof the attacks, it said, werecarried out by armed menwearing governmentuniforms.“Perpetrators are veryrarely brought to justice.Victims of these attacksare then stigmatizedwithin Somali society. Sothe combination of the fearof the stigmatization andthe lack of confidence thatreporting their case wouldlead to any justice meansthat in the majority ofcases the victims don’teven report the cases tothe police,” said Rovera.She said that police “donot have the capacity northe political will” toprovide the protectionneeded to prevent suchattacks – or to bring thoseresponsible to justice.Many of the women whowere attacked live inmake-shift shelters, withjust a piece of plastic for adoor. There’s noprotection from rapists,who usually attack in thenight. She told the story ofone woman, who has fourchildren and wasabandoned by herhusband.“She told me that she wasasleep in her little shelterwhen a man came in. Hehad a knife. It was night.She kept quiet because hethreatened to kill her. Thechildren were sleepingnext to her. He raped herand then he went away.And she told me that shehad not told anybodybecause she was afraidthat if she spoke to theneighbors about what hadhappened to her theywould just laugh at her orsay bad things about her.”Amnesty International’ssenior crisis adviser said alot “can and must bedone” to solve theproblem. She admitted it’svery difficult because thegovernment controls onlypart of the country. Manyother areas are controlledby armed groups andmilitias, such as alShabab.“But certainly wheregovernment forces arepresent, it is crucial thatthey take concretemeasures to first of all toensure security – andnotably, if we talk aboutthe IDP camps, the campsfor displaced people, wheremost of the rapes andsexual violence occur. Andsecondly, more needs to bedone to follow up on thosecases, which are reported,”she said.Rovera said, “The inabilityand unwillingness ofSomali authorities toinvestigate these crimes –and bring the attackers tojustice – leaves survivorsof sexual violence evenmore isolated.” She added,it also contributes to a“climate of impunity inwhich attackers know theycan get away with thesecrimes.”

  1. Reblogged this on http://farayarenews somafarayarenews somalia @xjournalist i teach and speak english arabic ahmaric kiswahili somali and italiano i am a proff. Af languages journalist peace maker chairman of somali youth @xjournalist i teach and speak english arabic ahmaric kiswahili somali and italiano i am a proff. Af languages journalist peace maker chairman of somali youth path finders.

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