Rape as a Weapon of Genocide

TitleRape as a Weapon of Genocide
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsReid-Cunningham, Allison Ruby
JournalGenocide Studies and Prevention
Date Published11/2008

Sexual violence against women during war and genocide is a pressing problem. Rape is used as a tactic of war and genocide because of its physical and psychosocial consequences for individuals, families, and communities. The physical and emotional sequelae of individual assaults are magnified when rape is committed on a mass scale, as in Bosnia-Herzegovina (1992-1996), Rwanda (1994), and Darfur, Sudan (2003-present). The victimization of raped women affects the community through the collective responses of survivors and their families, friends, and neighbors. Forced intercourse and impregnation represent a symbolic conquest of the woman by the rapist. This conquest becomes generalized to the whole population as survivors, witnesses, families, and communities internalize rape as an assault on their collective consciousness.

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