It has always been a given that the images painted by every war recorded in human history are those of devastation, cultural annihilation and moral obliteration. The degree of destruction of course varies with each war and society affected by it but like history repeating…
ence of the victims themselves, if what has been reported is any indication, then the escalation in the number of wartime rapes during 20th century wars alone has increased to appalling proportions. As suggested by data on the wars in France and Germany during the second World War, the number of wartime rapes has increased by up to four times (Morris, 2000) and even a few thousand times over during the wars in Berlin (Brownmiller, 1975).
With the number of wartime rape victims reaching to staggering numbers and victims continuing to hold their silence about the atrocities committed to them and most importantly, the derisory serving of justice to perpetrators of these crimes of war, more and more people’s attentions have been captured by the rape of civilians – mostly women and children. Perhaps, what makes the study of wartime rape more remarkable is the number of theories and theses that writers have come up with trying to explain the sexual carnage perpetrated during wars and its physical, emotional and economic consequences (Arcel and Kastrup, 2004).
Many authors have offered their own rationalization of the act of wartime rape, but one of the most extensive explanations on the functions of rape was proposed by Seifert (1994) where these were broken down into five possible reasons of wartime sexual violence. Each of them has their own merits points of consideration.
Raping the women of the enemy is a natural consequence of war. It is nothing but a part of the unwritten rules of the games of war – to the victor belong the spoils (Askin, 1997). Seifert proposes that war is a seemingly systematic activity with well established set of rules. In times of peaceful existence, sexual violence against women is a criminal offense. When wars broke out, certain conventions such as this no longer applied. Instead, a different set of rules came into play: overpower the enemy, take over their territory and destroy their possessions – including the women they ...
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