Loading
British ambassador decries 'brutal' crime of sexual violence
British Ambassador to the Holy See Nigel Baker speaks with CNA on June 3, 2014. Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.
British Ambassador to the Holy See Nigel Baker speaks with CNA on June 3, 2014. Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.

.- Ahead of an international summit resisting sexual violence in the midst of conflict, Britain’s ambassador to the Holy See stated that it is a “massive” problem, and has called for justice.

“Man has a very wide armory of cruelty to be applied against fellow man,” Nigel Baker told CNA June 3, adding that the “brutal and cruel” use of sexual violence “is one of the worst forms of violence.”

Baker, who has been the British ambassador to the Holy See since 2011, has been working in collaboration with the embassy and various other international entities to prepare for the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict.

The largest international gathering ever held to address this issue, the summit will take place in London June 10-13 and is being co-chaired by British Foreign secretary William Hague and U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees special envoy Angelina Jolie.

Observing that there will be 1,200 delegates and 150 governments represented in the conference, Baker explained that the intention behind the summit “is very simple. It’s to end sexual violence in conflict. To turn the huge political will there is to do something about it into practical action on the ground.”

“It’s a massive, massive problem. It’s something we see applied on a systematic and huge scale nowadays in almost any conflict,” he noted, drawing attention to the current violent unrest in Syria, Bosnia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and South Sudan.

Describing how there have been more than 200,000 documented cases from the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo alone, the ambassador explained that there are many more undocumented cases that continually go unreported.

“This is 200,000 women whose lives have been destroyed, their villages traumatized, their families wrecked…It’s something we see more and more of,” he observed, “and what’s worse is the perpetrators, very, very few have ever faced justice.”

“We’re determined to see that reversed…we can’t see this massive scale crime continue, we want to stop it dead.”

Explaining the motivations behind the use of sexual violence in conflict, which is often ordered by military leaders, Baker noted that “in many cases it’s used as a weapon to intimidate populations.”

“Sometimes it’s almost an aspect of ethnic cleansing, in a particularly brutal and cruel fashion,” he noted, adding that the majority of women currently coming out of Syria “have either witnessed or suffered rape.”

“It’s something that we see too often,” he continued, stating that if the use of sexual violence in conflict were to come to an end now, “we’ll see it again in the future.”

This, the ambassador pointed out, is because “it’s so difficult to collect evidence, so difficult to prove that it happened,” but “we’re determined that that won’t be the case again.”

Expressing his hope for the outcome of the summit, Baker stated that the ultimate goal is that political will to do something “be turned into a specific action.”

“Of course we don’t want to see conflicts breaking out anywhere, but when the next conflict breaks out this particular weapon in the cruel armory of man will not be used because the potential perpetrators know that they can’t get away with it.”

 Another hope, he said, is that “societies know how to respond and how to prevent it from happening. So the aim is never again.”

Tags: Violence against women, War


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
First meeting of Commission for Protection of Minors
Jul
23

Liturgical Calendar

July 23, 2014

Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Gospel
Date
07/23/14
07/20/14
07/19/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 1:1, 4-10
Gospel:: Mt 13: 1-9

Saint of the Day

St. John Cassian »

Saint
Date
07/23/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Homily
Date
07/23/14
07/21/14
07/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: