The United Nations mission in Iraq said on Wednesday that response to the needs of survivors of sexual violence in the conflict perpetrated by ISIS needed to assist victims' recovery.
Marking the annual International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, the UN mission in Iraq observed the day with Iraqi government and Kurdistan Regional Government, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq said in a statement.
Speaking in Baghdad, UN Deputy Special Envoy to Iraq Alice Walpole urged the Iraqi government to implement a survivor-centered approach to the prevention and response to conflict-related sexual violence, the statement said.
"For more than three years during the conflict with the ISIS, women and girls were subjected to the most atrocious forms of violence, including sexual violence, as a weapon of war," the statement quoted Walpole as saying.
"It is widely agreed that a holistic approach is the best way to start rebuilding the resilience of survivors and minimizing the risk of re-traumatization, social exclusion and stigma," Walpole said.
In Erbil, the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, Himyar Abdulmoghni, deputy representative of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), stressed the need for action.
"Despite the end of the war and the recapture of territories in Iraq, these survivors, in the majority, suffer from depression," the statement said.
UNFPA, with donors and partners, will continue to work towards addressing the needs of survivors in post-conflict Iraq, the statement added.