Activist: Kurdish Migrant Women Suffer Sexual Harassment, Rape

From Rudaw:
A Kurdish women’s rights activist says her organization has documented hundreds of reported sexual attacks, including rape charges, on women migrants on their journeys to the West.

Activist Betul Pekgul told Rudaw most of the victims refuse to talk about the sexual violence committed against them, fearing their families would punish them for the alleged crimes.

“Many are afraid they would face the same fate as Roksan if they reveal the sexual misconducts,” said Pekgul, who works with the Women and Youth Association in Munich, Germany.

Roksan Malik, a 20-year-old Syrian Kurd, was killed by her father and brothers in Germany a so-called honor killing last week after her family learned she had been raped in Syria two years earlier.

Pekgul, who originally comes from Turkey’s Kurdish region, has lived in Germany for 17 years. She said many of the migrant women she had spoken to revealed they had been harassed by human traffickers who sometimes forced them to sex before helping them across borders.

“Many of these women are in trauma with no immediate help available for them even here since they don’t want their relatives to find out about the crimes,” Pekgul said.

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