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Global charity urges for protection of girls in Somalia amid surge in rape, sexual abuses

Monday February 26, 2024 {HMC} Save the Children, an international charity, has called for increased protection of women and girls in Somalia amid a surge in sexual abuse and rape against teenage girls in recent months.

 

The charity said a 13-year-old girl was raped by a group of armed men outside her home on Feb. 18 after being pulled from her home and attacked by multiple men in Puntland State.

Earlier in February, the deaths of three women in one week, all allegedly murdered by their husbands, caused outrage in Somalia and sparked days of protests over the country’s track record of protecting women and girls.

 

“The persistent sexual violence against Somalia’s most vulnerable women and children is deplorable and a grave violation of human rights,” said Save the Children’s acting country director for Somalia Mohamed Abdiladif in a statement issued Friday evening.

 

Abdiladif said the traumatic rape of the 13-year-old displaced girl is unfortunately indicative of a wider trend that is being witnessed through work across communities in Somalia.

 

“Gender-based violence continues to be pervasive, particularly affecting displaced, rural, and minority women and girls who face added risks amid conflict and insecurity,” he added.

The charity is calling for a full and transparent investigation of the attack, and calling on the government of Puntland and Somalia to urgently take measures to prevent sexual violence, protect survivors, and prosecute perpetrators in line with national and international human rights obligations.

In 2021, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) documented an alarming 80 percent increase in sexual violence in Somalia primarily attributed to armed men.

According to the UN, Somalia has some of the highest rates of violence against women and girls in the world, with few laws to protect women and girls from sexual and domestic violence or available shelters where they can seek refuge from their aggressors.

Save the Children reiterated its commitment to protecting Somalia’s most vulnerable people.

“We stand ready to support national and local partners in strengthening prevention and response efforts surrounding conflict-related sexual violence. No child should have to endure such unspeakable brutality,” Abdiladif said.

SOURCE 

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