Perceptions of Justice and Hierarchies of Rape: Rethinking Approaches to Sexual Violence in Eastern Congo from the Ground Up

Citation:

Aroussi, Sahla. 2018. "Perceptions of Justice and Hierarchies of Rape: Rethinking Approaches to Sexual Violence in Eastern Congo from the Ground Up." The International Journal of Transitional Justice 12 (2): 277-95.

Author: Sahla Aroussi

Abstract:

Based on extensive fieldwork in South Kivu in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), this article considers the question of justice for survivors of sexual violence from the ground up. It argues that survivors of rape by armed groups or civilians in the DRC primarily conceive of justice as economic assistance and have limited interest in the prosecution of perpetrators. Such emphasis on economic assistance cannot be separated from the reality of poverty in which survivors live and local perceptions and practices of justice that are rooted in the concept of reparation. At the same time, survivors’ reluctance to pursue formal justice must be understood in the light of the inaccessibility of the Congolese criminal justice system and its failure to play a positive role in society. The article concludes by offering some recommendations for actors and scholars in this area.

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Justice, Reparations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Sexual Violence, Rape Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2018

© 2020 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.