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Sexual violence survivors struggle to get healthcare – report

Author: Garang Abraham | Published: Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Number of victims in counties most affected by conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV), January 2018 – January 2020

The UN Human Rights Commission says survivors of sexual violence continue to struggle to access adequate medical and mental healthcare across the country.

This is because of the healthcare challenges created by the coronavirus.

In a report released on Tuesday, the UN Rights Commission states that rape survivors continue to suffer physical injuries and psychological trauma.

It mentioned that the survivors do not have immediate and adequate access to healthcare.

The report titled: Access to Health for Survivors of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in South Sudan, noted that funding for public health care in South Sudan has not been prioritized, with just 1.2 percent of the national budget. That is equivalent to $14 million.

The report documents 356 incidents of conflict-related sexual violence, including rape, that took place between January 2018 and January 2020.

These incidents involved at least 1423 victims, including 302 children.

It shows that those responsible for the violence included government and opposition forces, as well as youth militia used by the parties to the conflict.

According to the High Commissioner for the rights body, facilities in South Sudan are not capable of providing specialized care to survivors of sexual violence.

Michelle Bachelet also said there are not enough qualified doctors, nurses or midwives to treat survivors.

“In the longer term, obviously building capacity of doctors and nurses will take some time,” says UNMISS human rights officer, Sara Gibson.

“But what we would like to see is for the government to allocate more resources to this, and to see this not as something that is primarily done by the international community, but to really take ownership of that as the duty bearer for the right to health.”

The UN reports stated that these factors have resulted in many victims not seeking assistance until they develop complications, such as sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancies, and problems from unsafe abortions.

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