GENEVA - More than 38,000 people appealed to the United Nations for help after facing sexual assault or other gender-based violence in Syria in 2013, a figure which may represent the tip of the iceberg after nearly three years of conflict.
UN humanitarian agencies have previously declined to produce statistics from Syria on gender-based violence, which covers any violence where gender is an issue, including rape, domestic violence, harassment and psychological abuse.
But the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) released figures this week showing it provided psychological first aid or support for such violence to 33,430 people in Syria in the first 11 months of 2013, and to another 4,800 in December in Idlib, Homs, Damascus and rural Damascus.
In Lebanon, home to the largest number of Syrian refugees at 850,000 people, the UN agency said it had "provided post-rape treatment to 17 hospitals and primary health care centers covering the potential needs of 1,020 survivors".
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