The horrific consequences of civil war in Syria.
A new report issued by a human rights group on “International Day to End Violence Against Women” says Syria’s civil war “created a context ripe for violence against women, including sexual violence.”
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network names the deliberate use of kidnapping and rape of women and girls, especially during “raids, at check points and within detention facilities” as a means to pressure and humiliate family members and take revenge. Women — with their children — have also been used in the conflict as human shields.
Abuses against women have been a “deliberate tactic to defeat the other party from a symbolic and psychological perspective, making women desirable targets as the conflict rages on,” the report says.
The report cites particularly horrific instances of abuse culled from cases documented inside seven provinces in Syria as well as in Damascus.
One such case was that of a nine-year-old girl, who was raped in front of her family by government forces in the Baba Amr district of the central Homs province in March 2012.
Another case quotes a teenager, a 19-year-old named Aida from Tartus, a town in the coastal region, who was held in detention for four months, from October 2012 to January 2013.
One of times she was raped occurred the day before a court hearing. She was assaulted by three government soldiers.