Bangui, 19 October 2023.- Between 2018 and 2022, Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) treated more than 19,500 survivors of sexual violence in the Central African Republic (CAR), according to a report released by the international medical humanitarian organization today.
In the report “Invisible Wounds”, MSF analyses quantitative data from a dozen projects and emergency interventions it supports or runs in CAR. While an increasing number of survivors of sexual violence have had access to assistance over the last five years, many gaps continue – from comprehensive to basic medical care; from sophisticated psychiatric care for complicated cases to initial psychosocial support. Survivors also lack access to protection as well as socio-economic and legal support.
Sexual violence in CAR goes far beyond the conflict. MSF’s five-year analysis found a minority of assailants were armed (approximatively 20 per cent) and the vast majority of them were well-known to the survivor (approximatively 70 per cent). Unfortunately, very few perpetrators are convicted because of flagrant impunity, while survivors face acute stigmatisation and other significant obstacles to continue normal life in their community. To help them reintegrate into society and not be penalised when they seek help, survivors of sexual violence need access to legal support and socio-economic assistance.
Between 2018 and 2022, MSF saw three times the number of survivors of sexual violence, while other organisations saw double. More than 34,400 people who experienced sexual violence were cared for in CAR during these five years, with more than half of them (57 per cent) received by MSF.