A different war awaits at the camps

Currently, it is a time of harsh wars in the Middle East, women are being put down even more than ever before. Every day it is an ongoing battle for them and most of the time, there is not much being done to help. Almost 50 percent of the current Syrian refugees around the world are female. While most refugees look to escape the Civil war in Syria and flee to neighboring countries like Jordan, Malta and Greece, there is not much good waiting for them there. Obviously better than being stuck in the middle of a war.

But what they don’t know and come to realize, is that there is just another type of war waiting for them at the camps.

The environment in the refugee camps is not something to raise heads, that’s a fact. With cruel hot summers and bitter cold winters, the weather is not the real issue.

Women have it much worse

Up until today, living in a desperate and unsafe situation becomes an everyday battle for female refugees. They are at risk for abuse, harassment, rape and trafficking. Don’t think it’s only by other men in the camps. Half of the cases happen from the authorities and volunteers there. Rape has now become a weapon of war at the camps. As if seeing massacres, Family Members killed and kidnapped before hoping for refuge wasn’t enough.

Almost 300 cases are reported to the camp clinics on a daily basis, where 1/3 of these cases are issues of harassment against females of all ages. This issue is a very under reported topic , mainly because a female will not speak about it or try to hold charges against the assaulter due to the fact that a girls “family honor” is more important, and should one jeopardize the family honor, risks being killed by her own family members, even if it was rape.

A family solution

Due to the dangerous risks for girls at these camps, parents are marrying off their daughters as young as 12 years old to other men, just to secure the safety of their daughters and their family name. If it were only that simple. Most of these young girls are being SOLD in to marriage. Men from outside the camps and sometimes of different nationality are picking out girls and offering money to the parents for marriage.

Some as little as $200 and others are paying thousands of dollars, especially from men of the gulf.

This is a huge crisis that is ongoing, yet nothing is being done about it. Females are under stress and depression, leading few of them to the point of suicide. In the camps, a girl cannot even go the bathroom at night without worrying about having her innocence stolen from her or not being abused. While the UNHCR and other groups have been trying to help women break their silence and try to find a solution for better living, the fact remains. These young women will always be a target for sexual assault and abuse, just because they are female.