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John Kerry: It is time to banish sexual violence to the dark ages

"Thousands of years after rape was written into the lexicon of warfare, we know that it is time to write it out and to banish sexual violence to the dark ages and the history books where it belongs."
By Aileen Graef   |   June 13, 2014 at 11:14 AM   |   Comments

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LONDON, June 13 (UPI) -- John Kerry attended the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict Friday where he said that it is time to write rape out of the "lexicon of warfare".

The summit co-hosted this week by U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague and U.N. Special Envoy
Angelina Jolie. Representatives from more than 100 countries including experts, survivors, faith leaders, and staffers from NGOs and international organizations attended the summit. Kerry, who spoke on the last day of the summit, called for governments to cease the culture of impunity for sexual violence during wartime, for those guilty to be held responsible and for victims to be supported rather than alienated by their communities.

"It's time for us in an age where we see enough of chaos, failed and failing states, to write a new norm, one that protects women, girls, men, boys, protects them from these unspeakable crimes," he said.

Kerry cited the efforts to eliminate chemical and nuclear weapons from stockpiles as evidence that the world can learn and change when confronted with horrible actions in the past.

"Thousands of years after rape was written into the lexicon of warfare, we know that it is time to write it out and to banish sexual violence to the dark ages and the history books where it belongs," said Kerry.

Jolie, who opened the summit Tuesday,said, "It is a myth that rape is an inevitable part of conflict."

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