If I win the Young Visionaries contest I will organize symposium targeting young people that will address the issue of sexual violence in countries where there is conflict, particularly Darfur.
Sexual violence takes place as women flee their homes and villages, within internally displaced person (IDP) camps, and within the home. Women have been raped and attacked when going out to fetch firewood, find grass or straw to sell, build huts, or farm and mill. As the conflict continues, there are increased reports of the violence inside the IDP’s camp, including domestic violence and women involvement in high risk.
Rape destroys individual lives, traumatizes the population and fractures society.
Rather than care, the women and children who are subjected to sexual violence receive rejection. The horrific practice we have seen in Darfur of actually imprisoning the victims of rape rather than providing them medical care, adds to an already appalling pattern of neglect and abuse. All too frequently the victims of rape find inadequate care even when they do make their way to a clinic. In many places the fear of mistreatment and stigma stops people from searching for necessary assistance.
Humanitarian agencies that work in the conflict area for emergency intervention need to implement a comprehensive plan of interventions to improve the reproductive health services. They must also work to raise awareness and provide counseling on reproductive health related issues, including gender-based violence (GBV). The agencies must support the Ministry of Health and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in providing life-saving and life-sustaining reproductive health care.
Humanitarian groups should also:
• Support women in the IDP camp center with services for the diagnosis and treatment of STIs, and offer skill training and income-generation activities.
• Create neutral meeting places where discussion groups on GBV issues, celebrations, and health awareness and education sessions can take place.
• Provide medical supplies, while also requiring medical staff to provide sufficient services to the all effected people without discrimination.
• Publish and announce the availability of resources, referrals, and support strategies for victim of sexual violence .
• Create policies that reflect an expectation of civility, honor respect ,and nonviolence for all members of the community and encourage behavior that build a sense of community
• Provide comprehensive educational sessions and workshop trainings on all aspects of sexual violence.
• Require from NGOs to supply us with family planning methods in all the reproductive health facilities.
• Provide free counseling and testing center for all effected people.
• Develop a policy statement and directive from the president that demonstrates recognition of sexual violence as a problem, a commitment to reduce its occurrence, and action steps for the community.
• Encourage civil society to play the important role of assisting victims of sexual violence.
Sexual violence is a societal ill. We are, as youth, looking to reduce this habit and we are in need of real change, god willing. If we strive together we will change, and create a happy life for all.