Jina Moore over at BuzzFeed News looked into sexual and gender-based violence of women traveling through central and western Europe —
Those who make the trip from Syria, Iraq, or Afghanistan can count on the volunteers to cook them food, UNHCR to give them blankets, and, in some places along the way, the Red Cross to offer medical checks. But from what BuzzFeed News has learned, few of them can expect to be protected from sexual assault, coercion, or exploitation on that journey.
These vulnerabilities are clear to gender experts, even if data doesn’t exist on what’s happening in Central Europe at this moment. “We don’t actually know for sure what’s going on [but] what we can glean from every humanitarian crisis ever, and from our [earlier] work, is that … a large number of women and adolescent girls who run from violence are subject to violence in flight, and then are still preyed upon… when they get to the ‘safe haven,’” said Deni Robey, director of strategic communications at the Women’s Refugee Commission, a New York-based group that advocates for the rights and safety of female refugees. “This is a story that I think is absolutely not being told.”