The ‘War’/‘Not-War’ Divide: Domestic Violence in the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative


Gray, Harriet. 2018. "The ‘War’/‘Not-War’ Divide: Domestic Violence in the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative." The British Journal of Politics and International Relations 21 (1): 189-206.

Author: Harriet Gray


While recognising the importance of policy designed to tackle conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence, scholars have increasingly critiqued such policies for failing sufficiently to apprehend the multiple forms of this violence – from rape deployed as a weapon of war to domestic violence – as interrelated oppressions located along a continuum. In this article, I explore a connected but distinct line of critique, arguing that sexual and gender-based violence policies are also limited by a narrow understanding of how gender-based violences relate to war itself. Drawing on an analysis of the British Government’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, I identify a key distinction which emerges between those types of sexual and gender-based violence which are considered to be part of war, and those which are not. This division, I suggest, closes down space for recognising how war is also enacted within private spaces.

Keywords: armed conflict, conflict-related SGBV, domestic violence, gender, preventing sexual violence initiative, private sphere, PSVI, public sphere, sexual and gender-based violence, war, Women Peace and Security agenda

Topics: Armed Conflict, Conflict, Domestic Violence, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gender-Based Violence, Households, Peace and Security, Sexual Violence, Rape Regions: Europe, Northern Europe Countries: United Kingdom

Year: 2018

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