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A Culture of Shame: Sexual Violence and Access to Justice in Uzbekistan

Around the world, rape and sexual abuse are everyday violent occurrences. Rape is always an act of violence and an expression of power and control. However, the way laws are framed in many countries dismisses this reality. The law should never interpret a woman’s lack of physical resistance to sexual violence as acquiescence.

It is not easy for an individual to report rape. Many fear not being believed, humiliation by law enforcement, being blamed by their communities, or lack of access to justice among other obstacles.

This document looks at barriers to justice in Uzbekistan in detail, particularly by reference to cases brought to the attention of, and offers recommendations on what should be done in order for Uzbekistan to ensure access to justice for sexual violence crimes and ensure the country is in line with its own constitution as well as the international standards by which it is bound.