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Sexual Violence in South Asia: Legal and Other Barriers to Justice for Survivors – 2024 Update

Our 2021 report,  Sexual Violence in South Asia: Legal and Other Barriers to Justice, co-authored by Equality Now and Dignity Alliance International, analyzed gaps in laws and policies on sexual violence in six countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, India, and Sri Lanka. It recommended a survivor-centric approach to improve access to justice.

This 2024 update includes changes to laws and policies across the six countries in the three years since the report was released. It covers inadequate laws and implementation failures in the region, shedding light on survivors’ perspectives on justice, including recommendations to address legal gaps and streamline prosecution procedures.

Who’s It For?

  • Law and policymakers 
  • Legal professionals and practitioners
  • Regional organizations and CSOs working on sexual violence, gender-based violence, and other women’s rights issues

Key Findings

Despite the alarmingly high rates of sexual violence against women and girls in South Asia, they face significant barriers to justice, including:

  • High stigma
  • Lack of legal awareness
  • Fear of repercussions.

Moreover, the non-implementation of sexual violence laws and protection gaps further hinder justice.

Contact Us

For more information, contact Julie Thekkudan, Equality Now’s South Asia expert, at

Read the full report on sexual violence in South Asia published in 2021.