Sexual violence in armed conflicts : convergence with torture

, par  Evelyne Josse

To read the article on ACAT website, click HERE.

To read the report A World of Torture 2012/2013, click HERE.This report includes a preface by the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, original contributions by Françoise Sironi, Marjorie Cohn, Évelyne Josse and Serge Slama, as well as the testimony of an Egyptian torture victim now living as a refugee in France.


Sexual violence in armed conflicts : convergence with torture


Evelyne Josse, 2013

Under the shadows of armed conflicts, acts of torture and sexual violences are proliferating. This usual association raises many questions. Do sexual offences perpetrated in civil wars and armed conflicts context answer to political strategies ? Which forms and meanings are they shaping ? Are they always considered as acts of torture ? Évelyne Josse analyses their connexions with the torture phenomenon. Whether this is about links between sexual violences and torture in terms of legal qualification, domination method or impacts on victims, some convergences emerge. These arms of humiliation, subjugation and terror remain true war machines.

Rape is referred to as a weapon of war when it is planned by a political and military authority and used strategically by one of the parties in the conflict to humiliate, weaken, subjugate, drive away or destroy the other. The most common forms are mass rape (perpetrated against many victims), multiple rape (where a single victim is attacked several times) and collective rape (where the victim is attacked by several individuals) ; these are often committed in public and are usually accompanied by brutality and beatings.

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