Sri Lanka’s Pandemic of Sexual Violence
By Violet - Wed Apr 25, 4:07 pm
Sri Lankan women hold placards during a demonstration to mark “One Billion Rising” campaign called to bring an end to violence against women, on Valentines Day in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. Rights groups demanded the government take action to curb rising rape, domestic violence and gender base attacks on Sri Lankan women. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
The recent sexual assault of tourists in Mirissa has made headlines but the only unusual aspect of the incident was that it received substantial media attention: Sri Lanka has a national pandemic of sexual violence.
Both foreign and Sri Lankan women and girls are targeted throughout the country, and the incidents are often much more brutal than Mirissa. For example, within the last two years alone, the media has reported gang rapes in Kandy, Colombo, Anuradhapura, Badulla, Hambantota, Trincomalee and Matara. Perpetrators included military police, a monk, a hotel owner, teenagers, construction workers and camp counselors. Victims’ ages ranged from six to 47….