Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 19 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Although sexual violence during mass atrocities has become formally criminalized under international law, relatively few cases referred to international or specialized courts have led to prosecution. This essay introduces the term State rape to call attention to State responsibility for widespread and systematic sexual violence as a particular class of atrocities. The term distinguishes sexual violence perpetrated by State or State-linked actors as a form of torture, a weapon of war, and an instrument of genocide. This new terminology suggests alternative grounds for establishing State liability for these crimes on the basis of either direct involvement or grave negligence. The essay discusses two case studies—Darfur and pre-invasion Iraq—to demonstrate application of the term to different types of regimes. It examines victims’ experiences collected through interviews and victimization surveys. Finally, it discusses the use of social science research methods to assess patterns of mass atrocities in other conflicts.

Keywords: genocide, mass atrocities, rape, sexual violence, State responsibility; Atrocities Documentation Survey, Iraq History Project

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.