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Thread: Sexual violence in conflict and terrorism

  1. #1
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Sexual violence in conflict and terrorism

    Not an easy subject and a quick, simple Google search found many articles, often from familiar places where Small Wars feature in modern times.

    The search was prompted by Jessica Stern who has written a reflective piece in The Washington Post weekend edition, which is behind a free registration "wall": http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...061803205.html

    Or use the attachment, with some passages in bold on the issue.

    What attracted my attention were a few passages and I use three:
    Why does the threat of violent death alter some of us, even if subtly, forever? Why does it make us unusually numb or calm when we ought to feel terrified?...

    I realized the possible importance of the frequency of rape of students at the radical madrassas I studied in Pakistan. I have felt, in my interviews of terrorists, that there was an element of sexual humiliation at work, but it was rarely more than an intuition on my part. Could sexual traumas contribute to contemporary terrorism?
    Another good article on the problem: http://pajamasmedia.com/phyllischesl...cruiting-tool/

    I have not read about sexual violence as a factor, although I've heard references to the impact of torture by government agencies and non-state groups - notably from North Africa.
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    davidbfpo

  2. #2
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Not an easy subject and a quick, simple Google search found many articles, often from familiar places where Small Wars feature in modern times.

    The search was prompted by Jessica Stern who has written a reflective piece in The Washington Post weekend edition, which is behind a free registration "wall": http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...061803205.html

    Or use the attachment, with some passages in bold on the issue.

    What attracted my attention were a few passages and I use three:

    Another good article on the problem: http://pajamasmedia.com/phyllischesl...cruiting-tool/

    I have not read about sexual violence as a factor, although I've heard references to the impact of torture by government agencies and non-state groups - notably from North Africa.

    david, your right not an easy subject, but there is much to learn here. I saw this a lot in Domestic Violence cases, which is why the wife calls the Police and when they respond and arrest the Husband they will often fight the police or post the husbands bail. Physical domination/abuse(not just rape) over extended periods of time will cause the person to literally loose their mind,their own sense of person, and they assume or cooperate with the violent/dominant personality. Insurgencies are just big cases of Domestic Violence and we (USA/UK) often show up like the Cop to fix it. Only to find out we are in the middle of Karpman's triangle.

    COIN theory often goes wrong by failing to understand this principle IMO. COIN theorist should study successful DV/Stalking units to see how to interrupt this cycle and regrettably when you can't,sometimes you have to realize until the person wants help and will cooperate there may not be anything you can do.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karpman_drama_triangle

    PS. this deals the real "Games People Play" not just theoretical prisoners dilemma game theory.
    Last edited by slapout9; 06-24-2010 at 12:06 AM. Reason: stuff

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    The lack of any solid data on the extent of such abuse amidst a very small, select group of people (terrorists/guerrillas) mitigates against making any sort of actual claims on this. Anecdote is not data.

    Personally I think that the history of violent social movements in all sorts of societies argues for political and economic factors as the main factor here, not sexual abuse, and the solutions lie in those areas.

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tequila View Post
    The lack of any solid data on the extent of such abuse amidst a very small, select group of people (terrorists/guerrillas) mitigates against making any sort of actual claims on this. Anecdote is not data.
    Thats true about the data, but that is just because no one or very few have ever study terrorist/guerrillas from that viewpoint.

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    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Slap, David

    I would recommend you to read that book: War and Gender: How Gender Shapes the War System and Vice Versa by Joshua S. Goldstein (Cambridge University Press, 2001) http://www.warandgender.com/

    Interesting enough, it’s written by a man. But this is a good starting point I believe. My wife who’s an anthropologist specialised in sexual violence in conflict says it’s the bible.

    It’s actually interesting to see how SGBV affects not only the war zone but also other areas. The case of DRC and the craziness of SGBV there is a good example. But women did not turn into fighters.
    I personally believe that your question is extremely interesting.

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    This artilce, Polygamy and Wife Abuse: A Qualitiative Study of Muslim Women in America, makes for interesting reading. Particularly the source of pride amongst women who can "take" a beating /abuse and who view that capability as a source of pride and look down upon fellow co-wifes who can't take it. OTOH hand the division of labour causes tension too with some wifes being purely for abuse whilst others are for fun, etc.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Opinion and illustration

    This thread has prompted a response from an occasional reader, who has worked in North Africa for a long time:

    The use of sex in all kinds of contexts is under reported because we tend to fantasise about such situations or to have strongly held prejudices which we like to project onto societies we know little about. Sodomising - man to man - is common in Western prisons, many "Imams" use it as have done many priests. It is not particular to one culture or one religion. When men are together in a system where domination, fear etc predominate, it happens.

    Among fundamentalists, it is, as far as I know from North Africa quite common but the police use it in non-democratic societies to humiliate. There was a famous Egyptian novel and film a few years ago which showed how such humiliation in a prison led directly to terrorism. In Nasser's Egypt, because young officers did not have enough money to marry, some were recruited by fundamentalists posing as male seducers.

    Meanwhile in Arab country women may be oppressed but they - and gay men- find many ways around the social rules.
    I will try to identify the film cited.

    Tequila,

    Yes, maybe there is not much data on this subject. I suspect there is data scattered around, in specialist country reports and the whole subject IMHO appears "off limits" to Western states.

    In the UK the scandal around and involvement of the "ruling class" in the Kincora Childrens Home, in Northern Ireland, is the readily recalled example of the sensitivity, not as a factor in radicalisation. Have a peek at:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kincora_Boys'_Home
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    This thread has prompted a response from an occasional reader, who has worked in North Africa for a long time:



    I will try to identify the film cited.

    Tequila,

    Yes, maybe there is not much data on this subject. I suspect there is data scattered around, in specialist country reports and the whole subject IMHO appears "off limits" to Western states.

    In the UK the scandal around and involvement of the "ruling class" in the Kincora Childrens Home, in Northern Ireland, is the readily recalled example of the sensitivity, not as a factor in radicalisation. Have a peek at:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kincora_Boys'_Home
    David, Mugabe's thugs have used the rape of male detainees for sometime now. Male rape, the latest weapon for Mugabe's men

    The aim in this case is to break the spirit and crush dissent rather than encourage radicalization.

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    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    David, Mugabe's thugs have used the rape of male detainees for sometime now. Male rape, the latest weapon for Mugabe's men

    The aim in this case is to break the spirit and crush dissent rather than encourage radicalization.
    In Congo Brazzaville, Bemba did the same with systematic man rape of chiefs and communities leaders. It is part of the crimes he is judge for in The Hage.
    As for Mugabe, the aim was to break the individual will and put shame on them.
    In DRC the pattern is little different and somehow closer to Yugoslavia. It is, at the beginning, ethnically based.
    There has been quite some work done on SGBV in former Yugoslavia. I would be surprise if you find anything on man rape but some work may exist as Yugo was the starting point for the modern use and study of rape in war.
    ICRC and MSF or MDM may have some publications. Especially if you look at SGBV and the Bosnian detainees.

  10. #10
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Women Forging a New Security: Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict

    The topic was found reading this rather odd article 'GenderForce: why didn't we do this before?', but the application in places afflicted with Small Wars and external intervention appears to make sense. Note written by a Swedish Army officer.

    As an 18 year old woman I wanted to join what I saw as the coolest and toughest force - not the Air Force, not the Navy, but the Army. I was the first woman to join, and arrived full of ideas of what life would be like as a woman in the army. Things were not as I had imagined at all..I have the best job in the world! At least that is what I think. Let me tell you what I do.
    Link:http://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/ch...do-this-before

    This is one article as a conference is about to open 'Women Forging a New Security: Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict'. For more:http://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/ja...y-and-security

    There is a thread 'Women in the Military', which on a quick scan appears not to consider the issues:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=2414

    I searched used Gender and found no suitable home for this post.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Moderator at work

    One small thread merged in (with one post) and in view of the next post a new title given to the thread: 'Sexual violence in conflict and terrorism'.

    It was 'Sexual violence as a factor in radicalisation and becoming a terrorist'.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default ISIS and Sexual Violence: A Very Deliberate Strategy

    A short RUSI commentary, added here as it is an update on the theme and sub-titled:
    The use of rape and abuse as psychological weapons by ISIS forces has raised questions on how best to protect vulnerable civilians in warzones
    Link:https://www.rusi.org/analysis/commen.../#.VH8U9Wet0dV
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The Road to Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict

    IISS is advertising a speaker next week on The Road to Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict

    The blurb states:
    In recent years there has been growing international recognition of the critical need to address sexual violence in armed conflict. For too long, deliberate sexual targeting, especially of women, has been used as a tactic of war in conflicts across the world. It destroys lives, fuels conflicts, creates refugees and internal displacement, jeopardises ceasefires and undermines the long-term prospects of reconciliation. But despite being strictly prohibited under international law, sexual violence in armed conflict has continued to occur, often reaching appalling and frequent levels of brutality.
    In February this year, an academic centre to combat the brutality faced by women in war zones was launched in London. The LSE's Centre for Women, Peace and Security is designed to improve academic knowledge concerning sexual violence in conflict and to contribute to global efforts to address the culture of impunity.
    Link to LSE Centre:http://www.lse.ac.uk/newsAndMedia/ne...WPSCentre.aspx
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default What happened to Bosnian War rape victims?

    Recently the topic of what happened to the women - from all sides in the Bosnian War - who were the victims of rape and later gave birth to a child. So I asked two people's help, both are Muslims so their focus is on those victims.

    In my experience (supported by reports on this) is that there is very little information because of the ‘culture of silence’ that has surrounded the issue since the war. Women tended to try to avoid the awareness of their neighbours that children were a product of rape (they may have moved away for example). There are inevitably some children who were resultant from the assaults but there would not be an open conversation of this. Hence the children would be ‘accepted’ but this would most likely be in tandem with silence on how they were conceived. There are, of course, exceptions but I would not know of any myself.
    This is what I would say was the case in the Bosniak Communities which were the primary victims.


    There is an excellent book on the topic of children born from rape, with a focus on Bosnia. As you will have imagined, the statistics and data is extremely elusive on this topic, and families affected by rape will have vastly different experiences:http://cup.columbia.edu/book/forgett.../9780231151306
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Sexual violence is​ a tool of war

    The full title of a short article 'Sexual violence is​ a tool of war, but we have the weapons to end that' takes IMHO an optimistic tone:http://www.theguardian.com/global-de...ns-to-end-that
    davidbfpo

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