Sexual violence means that someone forces or manipulates someone else into unwanted sexual activity without their consent. Sexual violence affects women, men, and children throughout their lives and can be devastating for individuals, families, and communities.
Anyone can experience sexual violence, including children, teens, adults, and elders. Those who sexually abuse can be family members, trusted individuals, acquaintances, or strangers.
There are various forms of sexual violence.
- Rape or sexual assault.
- Child sexual assault or incest.
- Unwanted sexual contact.
- Sexual harassment.
- Sexual exploitation.
Role of International Day for the Elimination of sexual violence
19th June marks the eighth International Day for the elimination of sexual violence since the United Nations proclaimed it. The day aims to raise awareness, put an end to conflict-related sexual violence, honor the victims and survivors of sexual violence around the world, and pay tribute to all those who lost their lives standing up for the cause.
United Nations Resolution related to sexual violence
19th June marks the day the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution was adopted and condemned sexual violence as a tactic of war and an instrument for peace-building.
S/RES/1820, this is the Security Council resolution on women and peace as well as security. This Security Council resolution recognized for the first time conflict-related sexual violence and a tactic of warfare. In addition, it is considered a serious threat to international peace and security.
Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ)
It condemns all forms of sexual violence during a conflict and identifies it as an extreme violation of human rights. It defends the rights of women and girls all over the world and calls on the international community to act collectively.
Moreover, it discourages the perpetrators of sexual violence and has made efforts to stop perpetrators from such violence.
Countries affected due to sexual violence
Nineteen countries have been reported as countries with a high ratio of sexual violence. In particular, Colombia recorded 293 cases of conflict-related sexual violence.
Sexual violence in Ukraine
During the Russian-Ukraine war, Ukrainian women and children have spoken out against sexual harassment and rape committed by the Russian forces. In April 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky proclaimed that investigators had received reports of ‘hundreds of cases of rape’ in areas previously occupied by Russian troops.
Somalia to adopt a law against sexual violence
Almost every state has faced sexual violence. On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, the UN in Somalia today called for enhancing the legal protection of all Somalis from sexual violence.
Somalia is yet to adopt a law to strengthen the legal framework for protection from sexual violence. This critical step would be beneficial for the Somali people to receive justice and for the perpetrators to be held accountable.
As everyone is aware of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine. So, Palestine has been facing sexual violence and harassment by Israeli forces. Various women in Palestine have reported that Israeli soldiers are brutal and do unjustified actions like rape, harassment, and sexual assault.