After Rape: Comparing Civilian and Combatant Perpetrated Crime in Northern Uganda


Porter, Holly E. 2015. “After Rape: Comparing Civilian and Combatant Perpetrated Crime in Northern Uganda.” Women’s Studies International Forum 51 (July): 81–90. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2014.11.005.


Author: Holly E. Porter


This article explores responses to rape in northern Uganda. The continuum of violence that women experience, before, during and after war is well noted, yet how this relates to exceptional approaches of transitional justice is underexplored. Based on three years of participant observation and in-depth interviews with a random sample of 187 women from two Acholi villages, this article focuses on a comparison between rapes perpetrated by combatants and civilians, both of which followed abductions that were intended to result in “marriage.” The comparison illustrates how experiences of rape do not fit neatly into “war” and “ordinary” categories, and rather suggests that a more useful way of conceptualizing women’'s experiences comes from understanding how particular circumstances of rape shape the social harm she suffers. It shows how experiences of rape and the harm it causes are predicated on understandings of wrongdoing related to challenges posed to social harmony.

Topics: Combatants, Justice, Transitional Justice, Sexual Violence, Rape Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Uganda

Year: 2015

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