The Nature and Psychosocial Consequences of War Rape for Individuals and Communities

  •  Kristen Hagen    
  •  Sophie Yohani    


Historically the rape of women during war can be traced back to the eleventh century with the occurrence of rape
continuing into present day wars. Rape that occurs in the context of war has distinct features, consequences, and
implications for research and service providers. This article presents a critical examination of existing literature
on the nature and consequences of war rape through a socio-cultural and feminist lens. The paper argues that
pre-existing conditions of gender socialization, inequality, body objectification, and eroticism of violence evoke
sexualized violence during peace and give rise to rape as a tool during war. The individual and societal
consequences of wartime rape are examined through a synthesis of existing literature and considerations for
prevention and intervention are presented.

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