During my years in Bosnia, both during the war and afterwards I heard and saw evidence of horrific stories of mass rape and sexual violence committed during the war. Thousands of women and children suffered terrible abuse and the physical and mental scars could stay with survivors for the rest of their lives.
Years later, sexual violence still remains entrenched in conflict zones around the world and children are often the most vulnerable. Children suffering in conflicts are growing up in a world where they face the daily threat of rape and abuse and sexual violence is considered the ‘norm’.
In Mogadishu, Somalia, Unicef teams treated more than 50 child survivors of sexual violence every single week in 2013. And in the Democratic Republic of Congo an average of 36 women and girls are raped every day – with children as young as six months old being targeted by armed groups.
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