Syria: Women Refugees Face Violence and Forced Marriage

Since the start of the Syrian conflict, approximately 150,000 Syrians have fled to Jordan as refugees. Women and children make up more than 75 percent of this number. Many women fled alone with their children, putting them in unsafe situations and under serious financial pressure. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) reports that the financial stress has led to an increase in forced marriages of young Syrian refugee girls in Jordan.

Research conducted by the IRC in March and July 2012 confirmed that gender-based violence is one of the key reasons that women and girls leave Syria. While the targeting of Syrian civilians has been well documented, the issue of sexual violence against women and girls in Syria has received little attention. Cultural norms and negative social stigma prevent many women and girls from reporting sexual violence.
 
The IRC research also found that women refugees generally did not know who was providing social services or how to access them.