Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict
On this International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, we stand in solidarity with survivors. We vow to listen to them and act on their experiences and decisions.
-UN Secretary-General António Guterres
Why is today important
“Sexual violence is now widely recognized as a deliberate strategy used to shred the fabric of society; to control and intimidate communities and to force people from their homes. It is rightly seen as a threat to international peace and security, a serious violation of international humanitarian and human rights law, and a major impediment to post-conflict reconciliation and economic development,” stated Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary-General.
Sexual violence affects millions of people each year in the United States. Researchers know that the numbers underestimate this problem because many cases are unreported. Victims may be ashamed, embarrassed, or afraid to tell the police, friends, or family about the violence. Victims may also keep quiet because they have been threatened with further harm if they tell anyone or do not think that anyone will help them.
How to observe today
People all over the world have the opportunity to appreciate parents and parental figures for the vital role they play in the development of families. Community leaders, parents, children, teachers, and family organizations get together in celebrating the day and promoting effective parenting.
It must be made clear, once and for all, that sexual violence, whenever and wherever it occurs, is a crime and cannot be justified. Sexual violence in armed conflicts must be subject to an absolute prohibition, the same status that the crime of torture currently enjoys. Impunity for the crime has no place in 21st century.
In order to celebrate today effectively, here is a list of resources you can use to make the day special – or to plan ahead
- UN and other international NGO
- Non-Profits website for the observance