This column originally appeared in the Seattle Times.

Unimaginable acts of barbarism were committed by Hamas when it attacked Israel on Oct. 7. These planned atrocities targeted civilians, with more than 1,200 men, women, children and infants slaughtered that day and more than 250 taken captive into Gaza. Out of those, 132 are still being held, including 14 young women.

The immediate release of all hostages must be a top priority. However, with these young women sits the most urgent concern, especially after a harrowing United Nations report detailed the horrific sexual torture endured by women massacred in Hamas’ savagery in Israel and evidence that those being held in Gaza underwent, and are still subject to, similar atrocities. That’s why the lack of response and outrage is so alarming.

Pramila Patten, Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, led a team to investigate sexual violence related to the attacks. Her report, released March 4, details evidence of systemic, weaponized sexual violence including rape and gang rape, and the rape of corpses. Many female victims were found naked or partially naked, with genitals shot and mutilated.

As for those women still held, Patten wrote her team “found clear and convincing information that some have been subjected to various forms of conflict-related sexual violence including rape and sexual torture and sexualized cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.”

She also noted some of that treatment “may be ongoing.” These women have already been held captive for five months under conditions too difficult to comprehend.

Patten’s report is indeed damning but should not come as a surprise. Last month, the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, a collective of nine organizations, delivered a report to the U.N. detailing sexual violence on and after Oct. 7.

Through the testimony of survivors, eyewitnesses, released hostages and others, there is ample evidence that these sadistic acts were premeditated with precision as weaponized sexual violence by Hamas terrorists.

These were not isolated incidents. Hamas terrorists livestreamed their crimes from GoPro cameras, took selfies with victims and went as far as to post the assaults on the social media accounts of some victims.

Rape and sexual violence are war crimes and violations of international law. Yet that was overlooked in an Oct. 13 statement by U.N. Women, which equated the Hamas attacks on civilians in Israel with defensive actions taken by Israel and made no mention of Hamas’ barbarism.

Following an outcry, the agency 50 days later did an about-face in another statement to recognize the attacks for what they were. “We are alarmed by the numerous accounts of gender-based atrocities and sexual violence during those attacks. This is why we have called for all accounts of gender-based violence to be duly investigated and prosecuted, with the rights of the victim at the core.”

Still, it is hard to understand why that anodyne statement took nearly two months to come out.

Lest U.N. Women waffle again with its condemnations, the U.S. House of Representatives last month passed a resolution that condemned Hamas’ sexual violence and unequivocally stated that all nations should “criminalize rape and sexual assault and hold accountable all perpetrators of sexual violence.”

The resolution was born out of the seeming indifference to the fate of the women attacked on Oct. 7. Some tried to rationalize the assaults as a consequence of Israel’s defensive response following the attacks.

Even that House resolution, surely the easiest thing to vote for, had one abstention — Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., the only Palestinian American in Congress, chose not to stand in solidarity with sexual assault victims.

Tlaib’s vote is unsurprising if no less sad. Even she must know that no woman — regardless of their race or ethnicity — should be subjected to sexual violence.

There is no justification for normalizing and making sexual torture acceptable; rape is not resistance. Rape is rape.