Colombia: Study Finds 15,000 Women Raped During the Armed Conflict
Thursday, December 30, 2010 1:40 PM

A recent study has found that Colombia’s armed groups, and to a smaller degree its army, have raped on average five women a day between 2001 to 2009, or a total of almost 15,000 women during the nine year period. The study was based on interviews conducted by Intermon Oxfam, Oxfam’s Spanish branch. In addition, the study found that more than a thousand women were forced into prostitution by armed groups and the army. Women in Colombia also experienced equal amounts of sexual violence from non-armed men, such as partners and family members. Nearly 500,000 women were subjected to rape, forced prostitution, sexual harassment, and forced abortion and sterilization by non-armed men during this same nine year period. Intermon Oxfam found that sexual violence is largely under-reported in Colombia, with 82 percent of women not reporting abuse because of fear of reprisals from attackers and a lack of faith in police.

Colombia has been caught in armed conflict between government troops, leftist guerrillas, drug traffickers, and right-wing paramilitary groups for more than four decades. The resulting lawlessness is a contributing factor to the prevalence of sexual violence. Armed groups use rape to punish enemies and to spread fear in communities.

Access the report in Spanish here.

Compiled from: Anastasia Moloney, Parties to Colombia conflict raped almost 15,000 women in 2001 - 09 - study, AlertNet, (14 December 2010);