Frequently Asked Questions: Rape as an Illegal Tactic of War
Today, conflicts around the globe are characterized by the use of rape as a tactic of warfare for military advantage (“strategic rape”). The features, modalities, and impact of war rape, including strategic rape, make it a phenomenon distinct from rape and sexual violence outside of conflict. The direct and indirect deaths of girls and women from war rape constitute a significant number of conflict deaths in today’s armed conflicts.
Women and girls surviving war rape suffer from long term or permanent alteration of their physical and mental functioning, often due to destruction of their sexual and reproductive organs. Furthermore, treatment protocols for the wounds to women and girls from war rape, including complex genital urinary trauma, have yet to be developed or incorporated in military field hospitals or surgical manuals for the war wounded.