Women Face Chronic Violence In Syria’s ‘Widow Camps’: Report
Syria–Women and children are facing chronic and high levels of violence and depression in Syria’s widow camps, which are the hardest-to-reach camps in northwest Syria. They are also feeling hopeless because of the current situation.
NGO World Vision conducted a survey on this matter. The NGO interviewed 419 people in 28 camps. The camps are home to thousands of single women including those who are divorced or whose husbands are missing and their children. According to the new report, some women are often forced to engage in “survival sex” in widow camps. Child labour is also a serious problem in the camps. Children are also severely neglected, abused and forced to work in those camps. Reportedly, mothers are at a “breaking point” psychologically.
The report found that more than 80 per cent of women do not have access to adequate healthcare facilities. In the survey, 95 per cent of women expressed feelings of hopelessness. About 34 per cent of children said that they have experienced violence and 2 per cent said they married young. About 58 per cent of boys and 49 per cent of girls aged 11 or older are forced to work.
Approximately 1 in 4 women said that they had witnessed sexual abuse in the camp on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. About 9 per cent of respondents said that they had been sexually abused. Some women are forced to engage in so-called survival sex with male guards and camp managers because they don’t have any job to support their family members.
Reportedly, a mother of three, in one of the camps, said, “We do not even have bread and water.” She is suffering from severe back pain but is unable to access healthcare. Women are not allowed to leave the camps. There is little or no delivery of essential services in the camps.