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South Sudan violence against women is twice global average

JUBA, South Sudan — The ‘‘shocking scale’’ of violence against women and girls in South Sudan is double the global average, a study released Wednesday says.

The first comprehensive report on the ‘‘magnitude, frequency, and brutality’’ of such violence in South Sudan’s conflict zones was released by the International Rescue Committee and George Washington University’s Global Women’s Institute.

As the world’s youngest nation approaches its fifth year of civil war, rape has often been used as a weapon by both government and opposition forces.

The civil war has killed more than 50,000 people, forced more than 2 million to flee abroad, and plunged parts of the country into famine.

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Up to 65 percent of women and girls interviewed for the study said they had experienced sexual or physical violence. Over half of the women reported domestic abuse. Women and girls living in the United Nations-run civilian protection site in the capital, Juba, were the most vulnerable to sexual violence.

Associated Press