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Author Topic: South Sudan Sexual Violence on 'the rise,' Report Says  (Read 334 times)

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Offline mastercode

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South Sudan Sexual Violence on 'the rise,' Report Says
« on: July 24, 2017, 05:06:09 AM »

It's been five months since the shy, frail 13-year-old was snatched from his bed, drugged and raped in the middle of the night. The boy hasn't been able to say much since.

"I don't remember a lot," Batista says, darting his eyes toward the dirt floor as he sits in a makeshift clinic in one of South Sudan's displaced people's camps in the town of Wau. The Associated Press is using only the boy's first name to protect his identity.

Four years into South Sudan's devastating civil war, the world's youngest nation is reeling from sexual violence on a "massive scale," a new Amnesty International report says. Thousands of women, children and some men are suffering in silence, grappling with mental distress. Some now have HIV. Others were rendered impotent.

The report is based on interviews with 168 victims of sexual violence in South Sudan and in refugee camps in neighboring Uganda, home to the world's fastest-growing refugee crisis.

Some of the sexual assaults occur not during the fighting but among the millions of people sheltering from the conflict.

Batista says he was raped in December by a 45-year-old man he'd seen around the United Nations-run camp. Yet the boy didn't seek psychosocial support until May. Community members say he has kept to himself and is in dire need of help.

The U.N. last year reported a 60 percent increase in gender-based violence in South Sudan, with 70 percent of women in U.N. camps in the capital, Juba, having been raped since the start of the civil war in December 2013.

"This is premeditated sexual violence. Women have been gang-raped, sexually assaulted with sticks and mutilated with knives," says Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty's regional director for East Africa. Victims are left with "debilitating and life-changing consequences," and many have been shunned by their families.

The new report interviewed 16 male victims, some who said they had been castrated or had their testicles pierced with needles.



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