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War and Rape



Rape as a crime of war. A medical perspective


Although widespread, rape of women has been an underreported aspect of military conflict until recently. The current war in the former Yugoslavia has focused attention on the use of rape as a deliberate strategy to undermine community bonds and weaken resistance to aggression. In addition to providing treatment for individual survivors, the medical community has an important role to play in investigating and documenting incidents of rape. Such documentation can help to establish the magnitude of rape in war and hold perpetrators accountable. Since rape in war affects not only the individual but also the family and community to which the survivor belongs, the restoration of social and community bonds is central to the process of healing and must be addressed within the specific cultural setting.


Online resources


Military Woman- sexual assault issues


Harassment, Discrimination and Domestic Violence Issues.


NOW- how armies use rape as a weapon


1999 National NOW Times - Rape as a tool of war is not new. Marauding armies have always used rape as a means of controlling the minds and bodies of those they sought to conquer.


Betrayal in the ranks- Denver Post article on sexual assault in the military


"As many as 200,000 women have been sexually assaulted while serving in the US military"


Statistics on domestic violence in the military


"30 percent of female veterans in a recent survey reported rape or attempted rape during active duty."


Submit comments on the Army's proposed Sexual Assault Data Management System


The U.S. Army, Department of Defense proposes to collect names and comprehensive data on sexual assault victims and alleged assailants for their military database — activists need to voice their concerns before November 25! The intrusive nature of this data collection will dissuade victims from reporting and deny the accused of due process.


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Carlson, Eric Stener. (2006). THE HIDDEN PREVALENCE OF MALE SEXUAL ASSAULT DURING WAR. British Journal of Criminology. 46 (1). p16-25, 10p. Find this in a library

The article presents the author's observation on the prevalence of male sexual assault during war. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia investigated sexual assault in the mid-1990s. The male prisoners were sexually assaulted by forced fellatio, masturbation, mutilation of the genitals and insertion of objects into the anus. Sexual torture is widely used to break down the identity of political prisoners. In must cases of sexual assault, the victim is reluctant to admit that he or she was abused. Therefore, it is important to understand the psychodynamics of this trauma.



Stiglmayer, Alexandra & FaberMass, Marion. (1994). Rape: The War Against Women in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. Find this in a library





Japanese War Crimes & Tribunal


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Search terms: war and rape, war crimes, Bosnia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, human rights, Women's Human Rights, international, Sudan, traffic in women and war crimes, war crimes against women

Related links: Victim blame, Female slave trade, Rape as a violation of rights- women are not damaged property, Invisible community, Hate crimes, Prevention, Secondary victimization


Stiglmayer, Alexandra & FaberMass, Marion. (1994). Rape: The War Against Women in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press.


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