War Rape And Violent Crimes Against Women

The emphasis of international law has traditionally been on inter-state conflict, but violence against women in war circumstances has only lately been addressed. 

Despite the fact that Hugo Grotius, the founder of international law, specifically mentions rape in his study of war, women have long been considered part of the spoils of war. 

That viewpoint is still prevalent in many areas of the globe. 

Women are often subjected to unjustified attacks during war circumstances, especially when they are not regarded simple property to be traded between defeated and victor. 

The United Nations has been compelled to confront violence against women in war circumstances as a result of recent initiatives by global feminist campaigners. 

The Beijing Platform for Action has had a significant impact on the international community's efforts to avoid violence against women in conflict. 

Furthermore, feminist theorists argue that women's bodies have become the battlefield in conflict, that rape and forced pregnancy employed in genocidal campaigns are aspects of genocide, and that rape adds layers of difficulties to the postwar healing process. 

Rape in battle typically involves non-combatants from the opposing side, although rape among military members is also a problem in combat circumstances. 

Despite the fact that both international law and most military rules of conduct ban targeting noncombatants, rape was and continues to be ignored. 

Rape, for example, was seen as an unwelcome but unavoidable aspect of military operations during World War II. 

This mentality is only the top of the iceberg, as bad as it is. 

Rape is frequently utilized in a systematic way as part of military strategy during wartime. 

Human rights groups in the former Yugoslavia, for example, documented at least five distinct ways that rape was utilized as part of the war effort. 

Rape was first utilized to terrorize and intimidate a population prior to the military assault. 

The Serbs then used rape as part of their assault and conquest tactics against a town or area. 

Women were raped or taken prisoner for use in rape camps; males were raped or taken prisoner for use in rape camps. 

Rape camps were facilities that were taken over solely for the purpose of sheltering women who had been raped on a regular basis for months. 

The rape camps also had a further purpose. 

Because the Serbs thought that a kid inherited his or her father's ethnicity, the rape camps were also used to forcefully impregnate women and force them to carry the child to term. 

Rape and forced pregnancy were therefore used as weapons in the ethnic cleansing effort. 

Fourth, in detention and refugee facilities, rape was committed solely for the purpose of rape. 

Finally, some women were imprisoned in so-called "bordello" camps, where they were mercilessly raped until they died. 

However, these acts of rape are not limited to the former Yugoslavia. 

Every war scenario include rape and other kinds of sexual assault, with women being the primary victims. 

Men's bodies, on the other hand, are used as weapons in battle. 

Men refer to their penises as extensions of or interchangeable with their weapons, according to several anecdotal reports from victims of war rape. 

This dubious and disturbing conflation of penises and weapons is even reflected in a military marching chant: 

‘This is my weapon, this is my rifle.' I fire bullets with this, and I have a good time with it.' 

We saw two significant genocide operations in the early 1990s, both of which utilized rape as a primary method of genocide. 

Unfortunately, the former Yugoslavia and Rwandan wars were not the last of their kind. 

Rape has been widely utilized in the Sudanese Darfur area and the Congo in recent years. 

Studying war rape, feminist theorists have claimed that rape is not only utilized as part of genocide, but that rape constitutes genocide in and of itself. 

Rape that results in death is known as genocidal rape. 

It may be rape that is carried out repeatedly till the woman dies or rape that is carried out in such a manner that the woman dies. 

Rape with the intent to kill is often carried out using items other than the penis. 

Women who have been raped may commit suicide, infanticide, or just want to die. 

Genocidal rape is also systematic and pervasive, whether as part of a genocide campaign or as genocide itself. 

Rape committed against a group of individuals, such as an ethnic, cultural, or religious community. 

However, it is also against women, prompting many radical feminists to call genocide rape femicide — the systematic slaughter of women. 

Rape also complicates attempts to restore peace and security in the aftermath of a conflict. 

In this respect, the example of Rwanda is instructive. 

During the Rwandan genocide in 1994, 800,000 people were murdered in around 100 days — neighbors were often raped by their neighbors. 

Furthermore, even after the war ended, many rape victims were murdered before they could testify against their former friends and neighbors. 

Because they were afraid of retaliation, several women were hesitant to even file charges against their rapists. 

This, among other things, was a problem for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). 

Rape and torture were added to the list of crimes against humanity by both the ICTR and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and the ICTR also included forced pregnancy. 

In 1997, the accusations against JeanPaul Akayesu, Mayor of Taba, Rwanda, were amended to include "rape as a method of genocide," and a year later, he became the first individual ever prosecuted and convicted of genocide and rape as a crime against humanity. 

Such beliefs are a necessary part of the postwar healing process. 

However, there are certain additional issues that must be addressed. 

Some cultures, for example, have strict restrictions against any kind of sexual activity before to or after marriage. 

Women who were raped in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda were often shunned by their communities. 

Rape also rips communities apart, which is another way it is genocidal. 

Following such terrible events, especially for the benefit of rape victims and their children, postwar reparations must include appropriate consideration of how rape has harmed personal and community ties. 

Counseling should be given not just to the women who have been raped, but also to their families and the broader community, so that rape victims do not continue to suffer the agony of their ordeal from inside their own community. 

Feminists and other activists concerned about justice believe that rape offenders should face punishment as part of the postwar process. 

Appropriate tribunals would need to be set up inside armies, as well as at the national and international levels. 

This proposal would involve prosecutions for individual troops who committed rape, as well as trials for commanders in charge who stood by and did nothing to prevent rape or who incorporated rape in their war planning and strategy.

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan

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