Sexual Violence in African Conflicts

Policy brief

Nordås, Ragnhild (2011) Sexual Violence in African Conflicts, CSCW Policy Brief, 1. Oslo: PRIO.

This policy brief summarizes key findings from a pilot study of conflictrelated sexual violence in conflicts in 20 African countries, encompassing 177 armed conflict actors – state armies, militias, and rebel groups.

  • Mostly indiscriminate
  • Committed only by some conflict actors
  • Often committed by state armies
  • Often committed in years with low levels of killings
  • Often committed post-conflict

The present study forms part of a larger research initiative on Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict (SVAC). The aim of the SVAC project is to collect data that may be used to facilitate the prevention of sexual violence. To achieve this goal, the SVAC research group recommends: (a) that the pilot presented here be extended to the global level, (b) that future research focus on the location and timing of sexual violence; and (c) that increasing attention be paid towards policies of preventing sexual violence in conflict as well as post conflict situations.

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