Failure to Protect Darfuri Women in Chad: Nowhere To Turn
Nowhere to Turn is a report documenting the scope and long-term impact of rape and other sexual violence experienced by women who fled attacks on their villages in Darfur and are now refugees in neighboring Chad. This study was conducted by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) in partnership with Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI).
The study team worked in Farchana refugee camp in eastern Chad. The primary aim of the mission was to investigate women’s accounts of rape and other violations that they experienced in Darfur, leading to their flight to Chad. They document these atrocities in detail. However the team also found an extraordinary high level of continuing exposure to risk of sexual violence in Chad as well as deprivations of basic needs in refugee camps. Eighty-eight women were interviewed in detail by experienced medical practitioners. Of these, 32 were either confirmed as having been raped, or rape was considered highly probable. Seventeen of the women had experienced rape in Darfur before fleeing, seven of them gang rapes. They identified the rapists as Janjaweed. Fifteen women experienced rape in Chad, one woman on two occasions. These happened mostly when women left the camp to collect firewood or take their livestock to pasture. They identified their rapists as Chadian soldiers and civilians. The report describes the miserable living conditions and mental suffering of the women refugees, and their longing to go home. The report concludes: “The violence that occurred in Darfur persists as a terrible memory but what most concerns the women interviewed in the Farchana Camp is the oppressive environment of insecurity they must endure on a daily basis.”