The International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict (the Campaign) is deeply concerned about the increasing levels of violence in Syria and the impact that the ongoing conflict has on women and their families.
There is increasing evidence that government forces and others are committing egregious human rights violations—including murder, torture, rape and other types of sexual violence—against Syrian women, men and children. A recent report by Women's Media Center's Women Under Siege project, a member of the Campaign's advisory committee, found that nearly 70 percent of sexual attacks were seemingly perpetrated by government forces, with 42 percent of the incidents against women carried out by multiple men.
“The fact that a large portion of the alleged crimes involved multiple attackers indicates possible coordinated, orchestrated, or systematic violence without restraints on the behavior of government and other forces,” said Susannah Sirkin, deputy director of Physicians for Human Rights, and an advisory committee member to the Campaign.
And while it is almost impossible to know the full extent of the violence or the exact numbers of those who have died, it is clear that such brute force is being used to instill fear and oppress the Syrian civilian population. Women Under Siege’s reports show that at least 20 percent of the women who were raped were killed afterward—a number that shows the level of terror being sown.
The Security Council failed to adopt a resolution on Syria on July 19. International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict urges the international community to stand in solidarity with the people on the ground in Syria and call for an end to the senseless violence. The Campaign supports the women, men and children in Syria dealing with this crisis and demands that those in need of help receive shelter, medical attention and other humanitarian assistance.