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Standing Together: International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

Blog by Pamala Proverbs, SI Barbados

Every year, on June 19, the world comes together to observe the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict. This day serves to remind us of the atrocities committed during armed conflicts and the urgent need to address the pervasive issue of sexual violence. Soroptimist International Great Britain & Ireland (SIGBI), a global volunteer movement working to empower women and girls, joins other agencies around the globe to highlight and support efforts to eradicate this horrific form of violence.

Sexual violence is a major pervasive problem that women and girls face. This problem is magnified in conflict zones because women and girls sometimes become double victims – as armed conflicts rage on, they often serve as breeding grounds for widespread human rights violations, with sexual violence being used as a weapon to demoralise, dominate and control communities. The consequences are devastating, leaving survivors with physical and psychological scars that can last a lifetime.

International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict therefore aims to raise awareness about the issue and mobilise global support for the eradication of sexual violence in conflict. It provides an opportunity to advocate for the rights of survivors; demand accountability for perpetrators; and promote initiatives that offer support, protection and justice for survivors.

SIGBI has been unwavering in its commitment to combating sexual violence in its many forms. Through our various programmes and partnerships, Soroptimists actively work towards creating a world free from violence. We support survivors by providing safe spaces, psychological support and access to essential services. Additionally, we advocate for legal and policy reforms to ensure justice and hold perpetrators accountable. By raising awareness and engaging in dialogues, Soroptimists are instrumental in breaking the silence surrounding sexual violence in conflict and shaping a future where such acts are unthinkable. Together, let us stand in solidarity and work towards a future where peace and dignity prevail.