One in Three Girls in Swaziland Experience Sexual Violence, New Report Reveals

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One in three girls in Swaziland (eSwatini) will experience some form of sexual violence before they are 18 years old, a report just out says.

Almost half of Swazi women (48.2 percent) will experience some form of sexual violence over their lifetime. Intimate partners, such as husbands and boyfriends, are most likely to be the perpetrators of sexual violence against women, making a woman’s home often a very dangerous place.

The report produced jointly by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse (SWAGAA) was released on Friday (2 October 2020)

The statistics were supplied by SWAGAA.

The report was part of a guide to journalists and other media workers in Swaziland on how to report gender-based violence.

The report stated, ‘In terms of rates of violence against children and child sexual abuse in eSwatini, the statistics are staggering. Nearly nine out of 10 children experience some form of physical or psychological abuse violence in the kingdom.

‘Gender-based violence (GBV) and particularly violence that affects women and girls, is a widespread and raging problem.’

The report said it was difficult to get accurate information in Swaziland because police statistics were unreliable and GBV crimes were grossly underreported.

It added, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW ) committee which evaluated Swaziland expressed concerned with the ‘low level of reporting of violence against women, owing to a culture of silence and impunity, and at the lack of data on the number of reported cases involving violence against women that have been investigated and prosecuted and on the nature of sanctions imposed on perpetrators.’

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