DemLabs blog

Mapping the horror of rape as a weapon of war

"Israel has accused Hamas terrorists of committing widespread sexual violence"

Israeli authorities have released little information about specific crimes and victims but in mid-November, police officials shared a video of an Israeli woman who said she had watched Hamas terrorists gang raping a young woman whom they captured during a music festival in the Negev desert. - NY Times

Rape is a weapon of war, violence and oppression. From Russian soldiers in Ukraine to Iranian security forces. Politicians who deny abortions for rape victims make the tragedy worse.
Rape as a weapon: huge scale of sexual violence inflicted in Ukraine emerges
Iranian Security forces used rape and other sexual violence to crush women's uprising

Understand the tragedy of rape being used as a weapon of war with this interactive map.

Rape as a weapon of war map

Bodies become battlefields

“When wars begin, so does the terror and devastation of sexual violence. The bodies of women and girls become battlefields. Rape is used as a weapon of war just as surely as the bomb that blows up a building or the tank that ploughs through a crowd,” pointed out Natalia Kanem, chief of the UN Population Fund UNFPA.

She elaborated on the many consequences of sexual violence, from brutalized bodies to scarred minds. It silences and shames women, she said, sowing fear and insecurity and leaves a destructive legacy through prolonged disability, sexually transmitted infections, lost wages, health-care costs and stigma for survivors and their families. - U.N. Report

Amnesty International ad on the need to stop rapes during armed conflicts

Systematic rape is a crime against humanity

Even one rape during conflict is in fact defined as a war crime, although it is rarely treated as such. If authorities fail to investigate and prosecute acts of rape in wartime, it will have an impact on the stability of the region once the fighting has stopped. Rape can cause entire communities to flee in terror, freeing up land and resources that are being disputed and ethnically reshaping whole societies. It can also destabilise a community by destroying family units.

The women who are raped regularly suffer horrific brutality, mutilation and violation. Frequently they pick themselves up and carry on but they are usually abandoned, ostracized, stigmatized and blamed for the rape they have suffered. More has to be done to protect these women from these atrocious acts. I'm hoping more people will be stirred into action by the Amnesty ad. After all, it's not the ad that's offensive – it's the truth portrayed that should offend us. - The Guardian

GOP Rushes to Pass Abortion Bans Without Exceptions for Rape

The Supreme Court’s decision overruling Roe v. Wade unleashed an immediate and relentless flood of cruelty against pregnant Americans. Child victims of rape and incest, including a 10-year-old girl in Ohio, must cross state lines to obtain abortions. 

In the face of these horror stories, the anti-abortion movement has doubled down. Jim Bopp, general counsel for the National Right to Life, said that the 10-year-old girl rape victim Ohio should have been forced to carry her rapist’s fetus, telling Politico: “She would have had the baby, and as many women who have had babies as a result of rape, we would hope that she would understand the reason and ultimately the benefit of having the child.” - Slate

Imagine telling a raped war victim to have the rapists baby ...

TakeAway: Punish those who use rape as a weapon of war. Call out the cruelty of those who would deny women the right to an abortion if they have been raped.

DISCLAIMER: ALTHOUGH THE DATA FOUND IN THIS BLOG AND INFOGRAPHIC HAS BEEN PRODUCED AND PROCESSED FROM SOURCES BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE, NO WARRANTY EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED CAN BE MADE REGARDING THE ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS, LEGALITY OR RELIABILITY OF ANY SUCH INFORMATION. THIS DISCLAIMER APPLIES TO ANY USES OF THE INFORMATION WHETHER ISOLATED OR AGGREGATE USES THEREOF.

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