Preventing sexual violence through justice and deterrence

19.06.2017

On the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, the international community reiterates the need for justice to prevent conflict-related sexual crimes.

Long-since ignored or understated, sexual violence remains a widely invisible crime. “Sexual violence in conflict has come into the limelight these last few years, largely thanks to civil society’s efforts” explains Lucie Canal, Legal Advisor on sexual violence. “But a lot remains to be done: we are only still prosecuting a minority of sexual crimes, and countless perpetrators still roam free.”

TRIAL International is convinced that a strong justice system can prevent future abuse. As the odds of facing trial and punishment heighten, fewer crimes are committed. But because the prosecution of sexual violence is still in its infancy, justice does little to deter future atrocities.

We need to build a justice system robust enough not only to punish the sexual violence that did occur, but also to prevent new crimes”, concludes Lucie Canal.

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