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Is There Any Possibility of Ending Sexual Violence, Especially During Times of War?

[Extra Credit Post]

I recently came across an article co-written by Gloria Steinem, a well-known feminist activist. The article titled “Can We End Rape as Tool of War?” resonated with the central topic our group’s video podcast. There are many horrifying stories about rape victims, yet questions remain as to how the collaboration of stories victims experienced could lead to an end of sexual violence and create a positive impact for future generations to come. A high percentage of the brutality in which sexually abused victims face coincides with war. The article mentions:

Sexualized violence may be the only form of violence in which the victim is blamed or is even said to have invited it. In war, rape shames women, men, children, entire societies. The stigma imposed on all who are touched by this violence makes this weapon incredibly effective as a means of destroying the enemy.

Sexual violence and rape has been used as a tactic throughout many wars around the world, and its ‘commonness’ has allowed for it to sadly become naturalized. A newly formed program called ‘Women Under Siege’ documents how rape and other forms of sexualized violence are used as tools in genocide and conflict throughout the 20th century. Through public education of raising awareness and undergoing legal action, perhaps we steer towards ‘ending’ the large number of rape and sexual violence rates occurring in battlefields.




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