LONDON: Of all the many horrors of the war in Syria, it is the one least spoken about, even by its victims. Perhaps especially by its victims.
Sexual violence is not a new phenomenon in war, but it is generally assumed to be directed at women and girls. However, a newly published investigation reveals that in Syria, the victims of torture by rape and sexual assault are just as likely to be men and boys.
Yet such is the stigma and so complex the reasons for that stigma, that their suffering is almost completely unacknowledged, let alone reported.
“There are no organizations that take care of them, and men don’t talk,” said one aid worker.
Instead they suffer in silence, their wounds — both physical and psychological — left untreated.