Justice for All: Wartime Rape and Women's Human Rights


Tétreault, Mary Ann. 1997. “Justice for All: Wartime Rape and Women’s Human Rights.” Global Governance 3 (2): 197–212.

Author: Mary Ann Tétreault


Among the issues to be resolved after an armed conflict are how to reconcile war victims to crimes committed against them, and whether sexual assaults should be incorporated formally among injuries to be redressed. The omission of rape as a war crime is attributed to the gender-differentiated development of human rights norms in the western tradition and in international law. The patterns of redress followed after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the recent civil war in Bosnia are compared. While each incorporates significant advantages to victims of wartime rape, the more cumbersome procedure requiring that criminals be tried before an international tribunal is more likely ultimately to assuage the pain of victims individually and promote reconciliation among groups formerly at war.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Gender, International Law, Justice, International Tribunals & Special Courts, War Crimes, Post-Conflict, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence, Male Perpetrators, Rape, SV against Women Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East, Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kuwait

Year: 1997

Civilian War-Zone Traumas, Complex PTSD, and Psychopathology: The Case of Kuwaiti Women


Al-Rasheed, Malak. 2004. "Civilian War-Zone Traumas, Complex PTSD, and Psychopathology: The Case of Kuwaiti Women." PhD diss., University of Denver.

Author: Malak Al-Rasheed


Little is known about the long-term effects of civilian war-zone traumas on psychopathology and psychosocial functioning for Kuwaiti women, and none about the application of Herman's theory of complex PTSD cross culturally and across different traumatic scenarios. This dissertation examines exposure and severity of reactions to different war-traumas in relation to the development of complex PTSD and other psychopathological symptoms, and levels of psychosocial functioning among a random sample of Kuwaiti women (N = 683). Participants completed a survey instrument designed to gather demographic data, and measure variables of trauma exposure, complex PTSD, PTSD, different psychopathological symptoms, self-concept, and psychosocial functioning. The results showed higher prevalence rates of complex PTSD (85.6%) vs. PTSD (30%), and high overall psychological distress (75.4%). In addition, a significant relationship between exposure to war-zone traumas and the development of complex PTSDwas found. Finally, women with greater reactions to trauma had greater psychopathological symptoms, and lower psychosocial functioning levels. Severity of reactions to trauma, psychopathology, self-concept, and complex PTSDwere significant predictors of psychosocial functioning levels. The findings imply that expansion of Herman's complex PTSD theory to include war-zone traumas as another case of prolonged trauma is feasible. In addition, complex PTSD could be a better diagnostic category to capture the greater range of reactions to prolonged trauma thanPTSD. Other methodological and cultural validity issues were discussed as well.

Keywords: trauma, female civilians, posttraumatic stress disorder, mental health

Topics: Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, PTSD, Trauma Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Kuwait

Year: 2004

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