Ombudsperson’s Office: Ukraine lacks recovery services for victims of sexual abuse
Lack of services to respond to cases of sexual violence against women and girls in conflict-torn eastern Ukraine is a serious challenge for Ukraine.
This was stated by Aksana Filipishina, the representative of the Ukrainian Ombudsperson for children’s rights, non-discrimination and gender equality.
“The facts of sexual violence remain concealed in Ukraine as well as in many other countries. This is primarily so due to the inaccessibility of conflict-torn areas and silence of affected women because of absence of information about the bodies, which can be addresses for help, and because of lack of faith in the reality and effectiveness of aid, or the fear of social exclusion or revenge,” Aksana Filipishina explained.
“The culture of stigmatization of a victim, which exists around sexual violence, including rape, stays partially in the centre of this ‘silence’. Therefore, absence of documentary evidence of the violence and reluctance of the abused women to seek help at both public and non-governmental organizations do not allow responding to such cases in time,” she noted.
The representative of Ukrainian Ombudsperson also said that Ukraine had no specific activities or services for rehabilitation and social integration of the victims of such violence. Moreover, the experts lack skills to work with cases of sexual violence in the conflict zone due to lack of specialized training.
Earlier, representatives of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), who actively cooperate with the International Criminal Court, noted that Ukraine silenced the facts of rapes committed in the east of the country.