Religious leaders strongly deplore stigmatization of SGBV-survivors
June 19th, 2019(Nyamilepedia) — In a press release seen by the Nyamilepedia, the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) has denounced stigmatization of survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in South Sudan
The Council of Churches issued the statement on Wednesday, on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.
“On the occasion of 19th June, the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, the importance of the position of survivors of sexual violence during the conflict in South Sudan, the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) hereby issues the Statement of the Council denouncing stigmatization of survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in South Sudan, by which we, the undersigned Church leaders recall the importance of influence that Churches and religious communities have on our society today” The Press Release reads in parts.
The church authority stress that crimes against humanity are contrary to the interpretations of all religions
In addition to expressing respect for all victims of war, the SSCC strongly condemns sexual violence as one of the most heinous crimes committed during the conflicts and further remind that acts such as rape, sexual slavery and forced marriage crimes under South Sudanese laws are inconsistent with teachings and principles of Christian faith
The church leaders acknowledge the suffering endured by survivors of sexual violence and said that consequences are profound for their families and society as a whole
The SSCC express concerns that some survivors of conflict-related sexual violence are condemned or even rejected by their families and believe that as a result they are ostracized and relegated to the margins of society turning them into outcast;
“The SSCC Underline that the values of love and respect for one another, healing the physically or mentally wounded, are the foundation of a peaceful and prosperous society Emphasize that there is no shame in being a victim of rape but the shame must lie with those who perpetrate such acts” Reads part of the communique.
The SSCC highlight that survivors suffer tremendously from rejection as stigma can have repercussions including suicide, diseases such as HIV/AIDs.
They point out that stigma at times extends born of rape resulting in discrimination and exclusion
The SSCC further recall 19th June, the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, and appeal to the political and military leaders of state and non-state forces to abide to the commitments enshrined in the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, including prohibition to commit sexual violence;
They emphasize the need for the governmental structures and public institutions in providing care, protection and justice for survivors of sexual violence in conflict.
The South Sudan Council of Churches emphasizes the need to support the Church-led Action Plan for Peace processes for promotion of trust, dialogue and cooperation of all people.