If We Could Read and Hear Their Stories…Protection Strategies Employed by Victims of Sexual Violence: A Comparative Study of Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo

Citation:

Birch, Kathryn. 2008. “If We Could Read and Hear Their Stories…Protection Strategies Employed by Victims of Sexual Violence: A Comparative Study of Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.” The Fletcher Journal of Human Security 23: 47-66.

Author: Kathryn Birch

Abstract:

Sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict societies is a security, public health, human rights issue, and "an act of aggression against a nation or community." The prevalence and severity of sexual violence as well as its subsequent health and socioeconomic consequences fundamentally change societies. Legal and social dimensions, such as women's second class status in the Congo and Liberia, actually support the use of rape and perpetuate its ruthless effects. While rape has been recognized as a war crime and a crime against humanity, very little is known about the protection strategies adopted by victims and their communities' and how these strategies impact society. The context in which the violence occurs and the protection strategies employed by different communities must be better understood in order to develop holistic and effective solutions for bringing justice to the perpetrators of sexual violence and the care of victims.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Society, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, Reproductive Health, Trauma, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women, Violence Regions: Africa, Central Africa, West Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia

Year: 2008

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