Sexual Violence on the Decline? Recent debates and evidence suggest ‘unlikely’

PRIO Policy Brief

Nordås, Ragnhild (2012) Sexual Violence on the Decline? Recent debates and evidence suggest ‘unlikely’, CSCW Policy Brief, 3. Oslo: CSCW.

The 2012 Human Security Report claims there is reason to believe we may be witnessing a decline in wartime sexual violence – a claim that has created newspaper headlines and intense debate within the blogosphere.

Key researchers specializing in the topic of conflict-related sexual violence have taken issue with the report, as well as the premises on which its claims are based. This brief summarizes key elements of the debate.

The brief warns that the focus on whether there has been a decline may sidetrack vital debate on how to mitigate conflict-related sexual violence. The brief also highlights what a more productive debate and line of research might require in order to contribute to preventing sexual violence in the future, suggesting some priorities.

Authors

Ragnhild Nordås

Ragnhild Nordås

Research Director, Conditions of Violence and Peace Department; Senior Researcher & Deputy Editor, Journal of Peace Research

Research Groups