With the political crisis in Syria, many of the nation’s inhabitants have become refugees, thus leaving them vulnerable to all types of attack-including sexual assault.
Syrian activists and figureheads from Harvard and Columbia University recognized this and have teemed up to launch Women Under Siege. Backed by Gloria Steinem and the Women’s Media Center, this project allows Syrian citizens and other in the area to report incidences of sexualized violence to track its occurrence in hopes that justice will be served on behalf of the victims.
The following explanation is taken from their blog:
There is an old idiom in medicine that says, “You can’t diagnose a fever without taking a temperature.” So just as taking a temperature tells us so much about the health of a person, taking in the rate of sexual assault can quickly, quantitatively, and objectively tell us valuable information about the health of a whole population.
The site’s front page features a live map with red dots pointing out the locations of these incidences, with each dot growing in size as sexual assaults are reported. The ultimate goal is to break the crisis trend in which sexual assault is reported long after the crisis is over and ensure the victims receive due justice for their suffering in a timely manner.