Sexual violence in conflict is a threat to our collective security and a stain on our common humanity. It is used as a tactic of war, to terrorize people and to destabilize societies. Its effects can echo across generations through trauma, stigma, poverty, long-term health issues and unwanted pregnancy.
On the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, we must hear the survivors, and recognize their needs and demands. They are mostly women and girls, but also men and boys, calling for our support to access life-saving health services, justice and reparation.
Today we also honor those working on the frontlines, directly assisting victims to rebuild their lives. Our global response must include more concerted action to ensure accountability for the perpetrators – and to address the gender inequality that fuels these atrocities.