Victims of GBV calls for involvement in reconciliation process

Victims of GBV calls for involvement in reconciliation process
Victims of GBV now wants to be included in the reconciliation process. [Courtesy]

The lack of a witness protection mechanisms has been cited as a drawback in the fight against gender-based violence – GBV.

Most victims of GBV are still afraid to come out and share the painful ordeals, which expert say is one of the coping mechanisms for victims of sexual harassment.

Most cases of sexual offences go unreported as victims suffer psychological trauma.

Mid this week, survivors of GBV raised their worries in Juba adding that more effort is needed in the reconciliation process.

“There is no truth in South Sudan; let us disclose the truth and then reconcile. After reconciliation, people will begin to heal,” one of the survivors said at a Round Table Discussion on the “Status of and Opportunities for Reparations for Survivors of Conflict-related Sexual Violence in South Sudan.

This came barely a week before International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict set for June 19.

The day is honoured to raise awareness of the need to abolish conflict-related sexual violence as well as to recognize GBV survivors.

One of the victims of GBV who spoke to City Review said that putting the survivor at the centre of the process will hasten the rehabilitation process.

“Our voices are critical to the peace process and must be reflected. Conflict-related violence cases should be given high priority and must be investigated separately from others (cases),” proposed another survivor.

Early this year, the Government of South Sudan opened public consultations for the establishment of the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation, and Healing (CTRH), as provided for by the Revitalized Peace Agreement (R-ARCSS).