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System fails GBV survivors – analyst

Author: Priscah Akol | Published: Monday, April 19, 2021

An activist protests against sexual assault on a little girl in Juba on May 15, 2020 | Credit | Priscah Akol/Eye Radio

Survivors of gender-based violence do not pursue justice because of the failure by the system to quickly investigate and prosecute perpetrators, a gender analyst has said.

Viola Riak stated that it is rare for suspects to be identified and availed before the court.

The UN Population Fund recently said a total of 6,295 reported incidents of gender-based violence were recorded from January 1 to September 30, 2020.

A one-stop center report also indicated that there were over  618 cases of GBV in 2020, but only 288 cases received convictions.

UNFPA said many of the cases have been pending for over three years.

The agency’s Gender Analyst, Viola Riak, told Eye Radio’s Sundown program that the slow pace in delivering justice has discouraged many survivors of GBV.

“There are cases which have made it to the court but they have been pending for many years until the survivors just give up,” she stated.

“Again some of these women cannot afford transport to follow up the cases or to even hire a lawyer.

“So these are frustrations that are really facing gender-based violence survivors in South Sudan, that the government really needs to put into consideration.”

Although there is no accurate data on gender-based violence in South Sudan, UNFPA records show physical assault accounts for 39 percent, followed by psychological/emotional abuse with 21 percent and sexual violence 21 percent of the reported cases.

Rape cases account for 17 percent and sexual assault with 4 percent of reported cases.

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