LIFTING OUR VOICES, BUILDING HOPE: Listening to survivors of sexual violence in Colombia

Fifty years of political conflict, fuelled by illegal drug trafficking, political corruption and an unequal distribution of wealth and access to development opportunities, have left an indelible mark on Colombia and the identity of its people. Colombia holds the record for the most prolonged humanitarian emergency.1 One of the consequences of this is a climate of violence that has multiple causes and involves many actors. One group in particular has suffered all the different manifestations of this violence: women and girls, particularly those from rural areas and from minority ethnic groups, have been disproportionately affected and have been left with physical and emotional scars. Violence against women and girls has become the norm in Colombia, a widespread, systematic and invisible practice in the context of the conflict, as recognised by the Constitutional Court itself.

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