The use of rape as a weapon in the Syrian civil war has reached “horrific levels,” according to a report released Monday by a major humanitarian group.
There is a need for the international community to “urgently scale up planning and funding for what is certain to be a long-term regional crisis,” said the International Rescue Committee (IRC) report.
A press release put out by the IRC noted that rape in Syria carries social stigma, and that the rape of women therefore goes underreported.
The report, which was based on interviews with Syrian refugees, described destroyed communities and sexual violence as a rampant and “significant” feature of the war.
“Many women and girls relayed accounts of being attacked in public or in their homes, primarily by armed men. These rapes, sometimes by multiple perpetrators, often occur in front of family members,” the report stated.
There was no indication in the report whether the sexual violence was for the most part perpetrated by regime soldiers or rebels.
The IRC was also told of attacks in which women and girls were kidnapped, tortured and killed.