Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 07-12-2017
A study carried out by the United Nations refugee agency has revealed disturbing details about a little-known side to the Syrian conflict: sexual violence against boys and men.
The report entitled “We Keep it in Our Heart” published on Wednesday by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees compiles interviews with dozens of victims in Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan.
Reported forms of sexual violence included rape and mutilation, much of which was reported as occurring in detention or makeshift prisons.
UNHCR researchers heard accounts of violence against boys as young as 10, and against men including those in their 80s.
Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Volker Türk says, the accounts of sexual violence is disturbing.
“We are faced with a vicious cycle here of little help being available, limited outreach to male survivors, inaccessible services, and a culture of silence – all of which reinforce a myth that this problem is rare.”
The study recommends that further research be done with a view to more effectively preventing and responding to sexual violence against males in conflict and displacement.