A while ago, I ran across this article in the Boston Globe discussing the recent study by Cambridge-based Physicians for Human Rights and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) which examines the long-term impact of rape and other sexual violence experienced by Darfuri women refugees. I've been meaning to bring some attention to it and while I'm a little late in doing so, I still see the importance of it.
The interesting focus of this study is not the numbers of how many have been raped or abused, (although it is no secret that the numbers are high in Darfur) but rather the effect it is having on the women who continue to live in fear every day. Eighty-eight women who fled to Chad from Darfur in order to escape the attacks on their villages, were interviewed for this study and were physically examined. While some were raped in Darfur, others were raped in Chad where they are seeking refuge.
Not only do these women have to deal with the repercussions that come with being a rape victim but they are also constantly dealing with the looming threat of sexual abuse even after. There is no relief and, as the study has found, that can have dire effects for these women both emotionally and physically.
To view the report and see the work that Physicians for Human Rights is doing for Darfuri women, click here.