Not Natural, Not Forever: How We’re Trying to End Rape in War
JMF: From the offenders’ perspective … what’s the advantage of advocating (or mandating) rape or other forms sexualized violence?
LW: Sexualized violence obliterates the enemy in a way that is often more effective than killing. Survivors often go silent and this plus fear of further terrorization can inhibit them and their families from either continuing to fight or resisting. It demeans women and entire communities—it’s like taking away a limb from a body. But it’s worse in that the psychological after-effects are multipronged and destructive in so many ways. The body in this case is more than the woman. It is everyone who cares about her and everyone who fears suffering the same act.