• Stephen Carter

International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

Updated: Jun 21



Sexual violence has been a reality in nation-to-nation and even within nation conflicts since the beginning of human history. According to historian *Kelly Dawn Askin, rape and other acts of sexual violence were considered a normal part of war between City States in ancient Greece.


Unfortunately, the passage of thousands of years has done little to make us wiser. It was an intentional weapon of terror in the Rwanda genocide tragedy and it remains a common practice in conflicts around the world.


The United Nations Concern and Action


The United Nations (U.N.) lists eight acts that are conflict-related sexual violence. Those are:

  • Rape

  • Sexual slavery

  • Forced prostitution

  • Forced pregnancy

  • Trafficking

  • Forced abortion

  • Forced marriage

  • Enforced sterilization


In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 19th would be designated as the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict. The original resolution condemning sexual violence as a weapon of war was passed by the U.N. General Assembly on June 19, 2008.


How to Bring Attention to This Ongoing Practice


There is little media coverage given to this problem. The reasons are many, but three reasons are the sheer global scope of the problem, lack of survivors coming forward, and the inability to get accurate numbers to quantify the problem.


One simple action you can take to help bring awareness is to post about the issue in June, particularly June 19th, on social media.


A special #hashtag has been created to use on social media posts. That #hashtag is,


#InternationalDayForTheEliminationOfSexualViolenceInConflict


To Learn More


Each year, the U.N. releases a report summarizing where we are internationally with the use of sexual violence as a weapon. The “Conflict Related Sexual Violence - Report of the United Nations Secretary General is available at https://www.un.org/sexualviolenceinconflict/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/report/conflict-related-sexual-violence-report-of-the-united-nations-secretary-general/2019-SG-Report.pdf


The most recent U.N. report published in March 2021 is available at https://undocs.org/S/2021/312.


*Reference: Kelly Dawn Askin, "War Against Women"; https://books.google.com/books?id=ThfzGvSvQ2UC

Stephen Carter is a FREA volunteer and CEO of Stress Solutions, LLC, a company dedicated to helping people enhance physical and emotional wellbeing through stress mastery using mind-body methods. He hosts the, "Easy Stress Cures / Mind Over Stress", and "EFT Tapping Junction" podcasts. Steve can be reached at CarterMethod@gmail.com.

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