War’s Silent Scourge: Sexual Violence Against Women

A displaced Syrian woman covers her face with a scarf in a school, where almost 15 families from Homs are living, in Souran, Syria, October 1, 2012. [AP File Photo]

In a recent opinion piece for The Daily Beast, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer and Ambassador Peter Westmacott, the U.K.’s Ambassador to the United States, addressed the use of sexual assault as a weapon. The text of their opinion piece, which appeared on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, appears below.

"Nearly 40,000 people have died already in Syria’s civil war, and close to 100 are still being killed each day. Homes, hospitals, water infrastructure, and sanitation systems have been destroyed. But one element of this ongoing brutality has been largely overlooked in the media: the appalling sexual violence being visited on the Syrian people by government and militia forces. Such use of sexual violence as a tactic…more »

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