n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - The men who killed me : Rwandan survivors of sexual violence, Anne-Marie De Brouwer, Sandra Ka Hon Chu : book review

Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



Rape - a brutal act of violence almost as old as the human race and an intrinsic part of nearly every conflict since time immemorial as a "necessary bounty for fighting men". Indeed, until very recently, the world largely turned a blind eye to the use of rape in war, regarding it as private actions committed by individuals. Perpetrators were and are rarely held accountable for their actions. Rape survivors, on the other hand, suffer severe stigma and discrimination, especially if they are also living with HIV. In addition, they largely shy away from speaking openly about sexual violence. In many conservative societies, rape survivors have also to endure the denial of their right to employment, to property and to inheritance. This, in turn, makes them economically and socially vulnerable, and in many cases leading to further violence in a world where, ironically, the phrases "human rights" and "women's rights" appear almost daily in newspapers around the globe.

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