Sexual Violence and Armed Conflict: From Innovative Research to Innovative Policy?

Jennifer Leaning

Elisabeth Wood

Pamela Delargy

Jennifer Klot

April 12, 2010

UMass Boston

Sexual violence in armed conflict is finally commanding international activist, media and policy attention. While this recognition of the problem is crucial, we are still a long way from knowing the best ways to reduce the incidence of sexual violence and to mitigate its consequences. Four prominent experts who are engaged in ground-breaking work across the research–policy–practice spectrum explore questions such as:

  • Under what circumstances does sexual violence become a major part of an armed group’s repertoire of violence, and when does it not?  
  • Why is it that some men eject women survivors of wartime sexual violence from their households and communities, while others do not?  What are the long term consequences at the community level?
  • What is the impact of policies that treat wartime sexual violence as distinct from other forms of wartime violence, from other dimensions of health, and from the sexual violence which occurs before and after wars?  

They also explore the methodological challenges of answering questions such as these, as well as how to bridge the gap between research and policy response.

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