Syria: Sexual Violence Causing Many to Flee

The civil war in Syria began nearly 2 years ago and has cost the lives of nearly 60,000 people. Additionally, more than 600,000 Syrians have fled the country. According to a report distribued by the International Rescue CommitteeSyrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan have reported sexual violence as a primary reason for fleeing. Many women described incidents of being attacked by armed men in public or in their home, often in front of their families. Both rebel and government forces have been noted as at fault for the abuse encountered. According to the IRC, ““For survivors who manage to flee, there is a shortage of medical and counseling services to help them recover in the communities where they have settled and even there, challenges continue. Many women and girls face unsafe conditions in refugee camps as well as elevated levels of domestic violence.”

Compiled from: Holmes, Oliver and Lyon, Alistair, “Critical sexual violence causes mass exodus in Syria,” Women News NetworkInteragency Gender Working Group (January 15, 2013).