Presentation Title

Intervening in Wartime Rape: Lessons from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Guatemala

Location

Martin de Porres 102, Dominican University of California

Start Date

4-17-2019 2:00 PM

End Date

4-15-2019 2:30 PM

Department

Political Science and International Studies

Student Type

Undergraduate - Honors

Faculty Mentor(s)

Alison Howard, Lynn Sondag

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

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, neo-colonialism literature 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 for the conflicts in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995 and Guatemala from 1960 to 1996. 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.

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Apr 17th, 2:00 PM Apr 15th, 2:30 PM

Intervening in Wartime Rape: Lessons from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Guatemala

Martin de Porres 102, Dominican University of California

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, neo-colonialism literature 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 for the conflicts in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995 and Guatemala from 1960 to 1996. 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.