from ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News) – A STUDY has lifted the lid on the rampancy of sexual and gender-based violence (GBV) during the two years of armed conflict in northern Ethiopia since late 2020.
The results from a study by BioMed Central make for grim reading.
It disclosed 1 177 people reported GBV to healthcare providers.
The qualitative study identified several forms of violence, including sexual, physical and psychological.
Gang rape against women including minors as young as 14 years old girls was reported.
Additionally, the perpetrators sexually violated women who were pregnant, and elderly women as old as 65 years, who took refuge in religious institutions.
The perpetrators committed direct assaults on the body with items, for example burning the body with cigarette fire, or weapons, holding women and girls as captives, and deprivation of sleep and food.
GBV survivors reported stigma, prejudice, suicide attempts, nightmares, and hopelessness.
BioMed Central reports that GBV survivors dealt with the traumatic stress by outmigration (leaving their residences), seeking care at healthcare facilities, self-isolation, being silent, dropping out of school and seeking counseling.
The organisation stated GBV survivors were subjected to multiple and compounding types of violence, with a wide range of adverse health consequences for survivors and their families.
“GBV survivors require multifaceted interventions including psychological, health, and economic support to rehabilitate them to lead a productive life,” it noted.
Northern Ethiopia’s Tigray region plunged into conflict after the regional administration fell out with the national government.
Around 4 000 civilians were killed.
– CAJ News