An Examination of the International Understanding of Political Rape and the Significance of Labeling it Torture
Author: Pearce, Hannah
Source: International Journal of Refugee Law, Volume 14, Number 4, October 2002 , pp. 534-560(27)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:This study aims to discuss and define rape as a form of torture in order to elevate the status of a crime which is consistently under‐represented and under‐estimated. Rape is seen as a crime committed by one individual against another as a specifically personal, sexual crime, an interpretation which ignores the wider motivations of the act which can be founded on political, religious, cultural grounds, as part of a larger oppressive regime of subordination. Where rape has been assimilated, from the criminal act, into a key weapon of war or violence, it has become instrumental in campaigns for the devastation, destruction and alienation of society, its power extended by the knowledge that the intimate damage done to the actual rape victim will reverberate through the larger social context. It is essential for this type of torture to be recognized as such in order for its victims to be able to fully benefit from the protection and the prevention of further violence.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2002-10-01
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