Sexual Violence in Detention

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has long been working to prevent and end the devastating phenomenon of sexual violence in armed conflicts and to ensure that the countless victims – men, women, boys and girls – receive the help they need. This document examines sexual violence specifically in relation to detention settings, where it is pervasive, but generally underreported.

Building on our significant presence in places of detention worldwide, we consider why individuals are at risk of sexual violence in detention, some of the forms it may take, places and moments of high risk, and risk groups and risk factors. We hope to help reduce risk by improving the ability of those who visit, work and live in places of detention to understand, recognize and address the problem. Our main focus is on prevention and risk reduction, but we also set out some potential steps to take when sexual violence occurs.

Published 2019-05-01