Workshop “Justice for Survivors of Sexual Violence - Voice of the Insiders"

7 December 2018

HA NOI, 7/12/2018 - Today in Hanoi, a workshop on "Justice for Survivors of Sexual Violence: Voice of the Insiders" was jointly held by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Center for Studies and Applied Science in Gender, Family, Women and Adolescents (CSAGA) and Center for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population (CCHIP).

Nearly 100 participants, who are representatives from law enforcement agencies at national and provincial levels, civil society organizations, United Nations agencies, development partners and media organizations participated in the workshop.

In recent years, the number of sexual harassment and sexual violence against women and girls has been increasing and causing concern for society. Women and girls continue to be the main victims of sexual assault and harassment.

According to statistics from the workshop, four out of ten women and girls with disabilities have experienced sexual violence at least once in their lifetime, reports from Ms. Nguyen Thi Lan Anh – Director at Action to the Community Development Center (ACDC). According to Ms. Lan Anh, women with physical, mental and intellectual disability has a high rate of harassment and violence, up to 35 per cent and repeatedly. And 48 per cent of women with disabilities is afraid or silent about acts of sexual violence. These are shocking figures about sexual violence against women and girls with disabilities in Viet Nam.

Ms. Astrid Bant, UNFPA Representative in Viet Nam stressed that "The existing normative, legal and policy frameworks to address  sexual violence need to be strengthened to ensure that sexual violence cases are treated strictly, perpetrators are  punished, women and girls are safe and supported". On behalf of the United Nations in Viet Nam, she called for enhanced joint efforts in making sure that women can live a life free of violence; enjoy equal access to opportunities and resources; Together, we can work towards a world where both men and women, and boys and girls, can enjoy life with dignity.

Ms. Nguyen Van Anh, Director of CSAGA, expressed that persistence of cultural barriers, social stereotypes and policy gaps make women and girls continue to face unsafe risks.

In addition, delegates shared real stories about the difficulties that survivors of sexual violence face when seeking justice. Along with that are recommendations to increase intervention, protection, support survivors of sexual violence.

The workshop is under 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence, with a view to promoting access to justice for survivors of sexual violence, where the parties are able to address specific, feasible actions in the future.