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Many women and girls relayed accounts of being attacked in public or in their homes, primarily by armed men. These rapes, sometimes by multiple perpetrators,often occur in front of family members. The IRC was told of attacks in which women and young girls were kidnapped, raped, tortured and killed. Roadblocks, prolific throughout Syria, have become especially perilous for women and girls.
The IRC’s women’s protection team in Lebanon was told of a young girl who was gang-raped and forced to stagger home naked—heightening her shame in a society where modesty is so valued.
In one extreme case, the IRC was told of a father who shot his daughter when an armed group approached to prevent the “disgrace” of her being raped.
Syrian children have been living nightmares that they could not dream up. They have been exposed to unthinkable violence, and nearly every child will speak about having seen family members attacked or killed. Thousands of children have been caught in the crossfire, and there are widespread accounts of children being directly targeted. An IRC-supported doctor said he recently treated a one-year-old boy stabbed in the neck and a nine-year-old girl who had been brutally raped.