Gender-based violence (GBV) is considered the most prevalent human rights violation globally. In eSwatini, rates of GBV, violence against children and child sexual assault are alarmingly high. The mechanisms needed to prevent and respond to these atrocities, and the legal framework necessary to punish those who perpetrate these acts, are inadequate and, in some cases, entirely non-existent.
In eSwatini, it is expected that one in three Swazi girls will experience some form of sexual violence by the time they are 18 years old, while almost half of Swazi women will experience some form of sexual violence over their lifetime. Intimate partners, such as husbands and boyfriends, are most likely to be the perpetrators of sexual violence against women, making a woman’s home often a very dangerous place.
Rates of violence against children and child sexual abuse in eSwatini are staggering, with nearly nine in ten children experiencing some form of physical violence or psychological aggression.