By Kantarawaddy Times
Since the military ousted the democratic government when it took power just over a year ago, women have faced increased sexual violence and other forms of abuse, according to a women’s rights activist in Karenni State.
“After the military coup, many women were killed, raped and arrested and domestic violence has increased,” Lu Muu Hpoe told Kantarawddy Times.
According to the interim National Unity Government, 150 women and 132 children have been killed across the country as of 4 April.
In addition, domestic violence, rape and child abuse have increased in the internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps, where residents struggle with trauma and mental depression, she said.
Of the nearly 200,000 people displaced by the regime’s offensives and fighting with resistance groups since the coup in Karenni and southern Shan states, more than half are women, children and the elderly.
“Many of the IDPs are not psychologically stable: they do not know when the fighter jets will attack them and they are struggling with financial difficulties. Many elderly people suffer from depression. But some have managed to resolve these problems as a family,” a Karenni IDP, who asked that her name not be mentioned, told Kantarawaddy Times.
After being forced to flee their homes and farms, IDPs have no regular income and most people rely on handouts from aid agencies, which is usually not enough and increases tension within the family.