It’s degrading, humiliating and destroys a woman’s sexual identity. These are just some of the words that were used to describe sexual violence in conflict - war rape. They came from ActionAid frontline aid workers and actors and ActionAid ambassadors, Sarah Alexander and Helen Worth.
This week sees the largest ever gathering of politicians, experts and activists led by UK foreign minister William Hague and actor Angelina Jolie aiming to create irreversible momentum against sexual violence in conflict as well as outlining practical action that helps women who have suffered sexual abuse.
A zero tolerance approach
We’ll be at the Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict summit. In particular, we’ll be pushing for a zero tolerance approach to sexual assault. That means punishment of perpetrators — no matter how long it takes, paying reparations and ensuring women can access justice.
So what do you think can be done? Here are six answers that we think can help.
• Change attitudes around the world so that the stigma that survivors of sexual violence usually face, is instead attached to the perpetrators
• End the culture of impunity and make sure women survivors have access to justice
• Always prosecute rapists
• Stop objectifying women
• Give girls real power
• Give all women a voice
These are some of the reasons why ActionAid’s She CAN fundraising appeal helps young women break the cycle of poverty and violence so that they can fulfil their potential and live lives without fear. The appeal runs until 25 June and all donations from the public will be matched by the UK government.