Wartime Sexual Violence and Post-War Gender-Based Violence Cover Image

Wartime Sexual Violence and Post-War Gender-Based Violence
Wartime Sexual Violence and Post-War Gender-Based Violence

Author(s): Majda Halilović
Subject(s): Gender Studies, Studies in violence and power, Post-War period (1950 - 1989), Transformation Period (1990 - 2010), Present Times (2010 - today), Peace and Conflict Studies
Published by: Sarajevo Open Centre
Keywords: gender; security; wartime; sexual violence; OSCE; BiH;
Summary/Abstract: This section shall provide a general theoretical overview of sexual and gender-based violence and show progress made with change of paradigm which occurred gradually since the 1970s onward in understanding the phenomenon of violence against women, which resulted in perception of the violence as something other than a mere private and family matter between a man and a woman, but rather a serious problem that requires engagement of the criminal justice system and protection services and condemnation on the part of the public. However, this paradigm change did nothing to deter the perpetrators of wartime rape during the course of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992–1995) – in focus of the second part of this section, which also provides overview of the case law in the area of wartime rape and support provided to surviving victims. The second part of the paper provides an overview of post-war violence against women and analysis of the case law in prosecution of the crimes of rape, sexual harassment and domestic violence. The section shall also focus on the analysis of the impact the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 had in changing the attitudes to women victims of sexual violence and look into the extent to which international efforts and civil society interventions reflected on how the victims of wartime rape are recognised and supported in Bosnia and Herzegovina at state and entity level. In addition, the paper shall address the issue of whether and to what extent has the case law expanded the existing knowledge after the prosecution of wartime rape and how the judiciary treated the survivors as opposed to how it treated the perpetrators of rape. The section shall also examine whether the public of Bosnia and Herzegovina understood judgements and testimonies of surviving women, victims of wartime rape as a warning, and whether those judgements and testimonies led to collective examination of the attitude to women in general and deep awareness and understanding of the serious consequences of rape, sexual violence and domestic violence.