Graduation Date


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science and International Studies

Director of the Honors Program

Lynn Sondag, MFA

First Reader

Jordan Lieser, PhD

Second Reader

Wallace Harvey, BA


Rape and sexual violence has been a part of war throughout history. Wartime rape that occurred during the 20th century was often marked by public spectacle and brutality, which caught the attention of the world in new ways. Scholars, policymakers and the general public now consider how militaries and armed groups use rape as a tool of ethnic cleansing and genocide, meaning that this form of violence is used to hinder the health and growth of the enemy population. This study draws upon feminist literature, humanitarian intervention discourse, and international relations literature to develop a feminist intersectional framework with which to view international responses and interventions in cases of wartime rape. To conduct a qualitative multi-case study, this study reviews organizational reports and findings by truth commissions, international entities, and state actors for the conflicts in Guatemala from 1960 to 1996 and in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992-1995. This study finds that without a feminist and intersectional framework, interventions are likely to fail to effectively support and seek justice for survivors of wartime rape, to prosecute perpetrators, and to change the culture of silence that discourages survivors from seeking justice. The findings of this study have implications for international policy, and recommendations that future research into wartime sexual violence expand their frameworks to be more intersectional.