First Survey of Prevalence, Sexual Violence Against Women in the Context of the Colombian Conflict

Friday, March 25, 2011
Campaign Rape and other Violence: Leave my Body Out of War
South America

The results of the first survey on the prevalence of sexual violence allowed us to make the link between the presence of armed actors and the increase in sexual violence, and the reasons behind why the victims do not report these abuses. For the purposes of the study, the different forms of sexual violence were considered rather than just rape or sexual harassment. The study includes violations that are established as crimes by the Colombian Penal Code (rape, sexual harassment, and forced prostitution) and others that are not, such as forced domestic labor and the regulation of social life.

The results of this research, covering the period 2001‐2009, show the high rate of sexual violence: 18% for the 407 municipalities that have an active presence of the armed forces, guerrillas carried out, 489,687 women were victims of sexual violence. This is an average of 54,410 women per year, 149 per day, or 6 women every hour suffering sexual violence. Based on these numbers it can be inferred that sexual violence constitutes a habitual and frequent practice in the context of the armed conflict and therefore can be described as being “generalized” according to international humanitarian law.

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