Demand justice for sexual violence survivors in Tigray

Soldiers and militias aligned with the Ethiopian government have committed widespread rape against ethnic Tigrayan women and girls and inflicted lasting physical and psychological damage on them and their loved ones. Take action now to call for justice for the women and girls subjected to sexual violence in Tigray.  

Warning: this page contains accounts of sexual violence 

Etsegenet, a 16-year-old girl from Division, was abducted and held captive in Adebai by Ethiopian soldiers while fleeing with her mother and siblings. She was taken to a house where an officer of the Ethiopian National Defense raped her while three other men waited outside. He took her virginity and left her to the other three men who also raped her. They kept her for three days in that house and repeatedly raped her. Then, after three days, at night they let her go. 

Letay, a 20-year-old woman, was assaulted in her home by armed, Amharic-speaking men, wearing a mix of uniforms and plain clothing. They pretended to search for weapons and got her parents and siblings out of the house while Letay was sleeping in a room. Three men came into the room where she was. Letay woke up due to the noise they were making. She did not scream. They gestured to her to not make any noise or they would kill her. They raped her one after the other. “I was four months pregnant; I don’t know if they realized I was pregnant. I don’t know if they realized I was a person,” said Letay to Amnesty International.

Eyerusalem, a 39-year-old mother of two, was seized by Eritrean soldiers, together with two other women as she was traveling east with her children fleeing conflict in her hometown. They kept her for 24 hours and used a hot iron rod to burn her. They also inserted pieces of metal in her womb. Five of them raped her in front of her children. The medical director of the hospital where Eyerusalem was treated told Amnesty International that four metal nails were removed from her body. Those nails were making movement difficult for her since her ordeal (two months before the surgery). They also found a burn on her upper thigh from when she was raped. 

The accounts of sexual violence against women and girls in Tigray have a lot of similarities. They all show intent to inflict lasting physical and psychological damage on the survivors. Soldiers and militias subjected Tigrayan women and girls to rape, gang rape, sexual slavery, sexual mutilation, and other forms of torture, often using ethnic slurs and death threats. 

It’s time to end the use of sexual violence in the Tigray conflict. It’s time that perpetrators are identified and held accountable. 

Join our supporters and members in calling for a prompt, thorough, independent, and impartial investigation in all cases of sexual violence perpetrated in Tigray during the conflict. 

Take action now to demand to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to take all necessary steps to ensure justice and reparation for women and girls subjected to sexual violence by the military forces aligned with the Ethiopian government.