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Underreported and Unchecked: Sexual Violence Against Somali Refugee Women

Written by Yifat Susskind for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post. Amal* left her village in Somalia when she realized that there was nothing left there for her. There was no food and no water. So she gathered her emaciated children and began the long trek to the refugee camps in northeastern Kenya. She thought that being forced to leave her home would be the worst thing to ever happen to her. That was until she was attacked and raped by bandits on the way. I recently returned from Kenya, where Somali women and families are seeking refuge by the thousands. I met with Hubbie Hussein Al-Haji of MADRE’s sister organization, Womankind Kenya, a grassroots women’s organization of Somali pastoralists. We talked about the most urgent needs for famine refugees—for food and water—and about how MADRE and Womankind Kenya can work together to provide for them. And Hubbie told me about Amal and other women like her, who are arriving in northeastern Kenya traumatized not only from famine and displacement—but also from being raped along the trek. Continue reading....