RAPE AND GBV IN TIGRAY REGION, DECADES OLD CRISIS !
Study Reveals Rape and GBV Has Been A Serious Crisis In The Tigray Region Over The Past Decades.
Law enforcement operations began in Tigray after the TPLF regime attacked the Northern Command. Since then, TPLF apologist have been crying foul while using rape an an issue to gain sympathy from international community. They have accused Eritrean and Ethiopian forces of rape.
"This isn't a surprise to those who know TPLF and its propaganda tactics".
For the last two decades, several commissions have funded studies in the Tigray region based on the rampant rape cases being reported. Pundits wonder why some in the international community are turing a blind eye to this longtime phenomenon in the region.
The rape crisis in the Tigray region is well known to the WHO, UNFPA, various European states that funded the studies and other NGOs operating in the region.
Its a surprise to many as to why they pretend today as if the rape crisis in the region is related to the law enforcement operations by the central government.
Worse, they point fingers at Eritrea, a nation where rape is practically non-existent.
A handful of sample studies conducted in the Tigray region of Ethiopia during the TPLF’s rule of Ethiopia unmask the true side of rape crisis and gender based violence in the region.
Analysis reveal that "gender-based violence, including rape was rampant throughout Tigray, including in its Universities, and predates events that have taken place after November 2018". In addition to the attack on the Northern Command and the massacres and MaiKadra, the "TPLF’s release of criminals, including rapists, has exacerbated the violence against women and children in Tigray".
A 2014 study in the Tigray region on "Sexual Violence and Associated Factor among Commercial Sex Workers in Mekelle City, Tigray, Northern Ethiopia”, was conducted in Mekelle city. It was reported that
“…The city is divided in to seven sub cities, 32 Kebeles. There are 2190 bars and 146 hotels in the city…There are a total number of 2868 commercial sex workers residing in the city. The study was conducted from April 1-18, 2014… A total of 250 commercial sex workers participated in the study making a response rate of 100%. Majority of the respondents 119(47.60%) were between the age of 20-24 with a mean age of 24.04(SD ± 4.3) and the age ranges from 17 up to 47 years… This study revealed that the prevalence of sexual violence among commercial sex workers was 75.6%.
Another study conducted in January 2020 relating to, “Factors associated with sexual violence among female administrative staff of Mekelle University, North Ethiopia”, illustrate the prevalence of gender based violence in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. The researchers wrote,
“…As part of Ethiopia, in Tigray, sexual violence is still high, for example, a research done in Adigrat hospital shows 60.2% of rape cases occurred among children and adolescents…”
About half 180 (50.2%) of the participants face sexual violence. The typical perpetrators were bosses and workmates, and the common areas of violence were workplaces….This study found that sexual violence was committed against half of the female administrative staffs of Mekelle University.
According to a 2018 study in Aksum town which is located in the Central Zone of Tigray Regional State on “Intimate partner physical violence and associated factors in reproductive age married women in Aksum Town, Tigray, Ethiopia, and community based study” it was revealed that, of the 398 study participants, 112 (28.1%) and 27 (6.8%) married reproductive age women had intimate partner physical violence in their lifetime and in the last 3 months respectively, from the physically violence reproductive age women, 88 (22.1%) had conflict with their husband, 35 (8.8%) and 65 (16.3%) battered by their husband usually and sometimes respectively. A total of 48 (8.7%) and 27 (6.8%) respectively had conflict and battered in the last 3 month…”
This list might go on and on. Analyst insist that instead of pointing fingers at others, TPLF supporters, including the international community, must address the problem for the sake of the people of Tigray and not try to politicize the issue and divert attention elsewhere. Tigray society needs to impart changes in the social structures and practices that sustain this cultural acceptance of gender-based violence. Every individual in society has to assume an active role in the fight against violence against women. There seems to be an urgent need in Tigray, to secure and maintain the physical, emotional and psychological integrity, security, well-being and dignity of women and girls, free from gender-based violence. Propaganda and denial will not achieve that.