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Introduction: sexual violence against men in global politics

Chapter in book
Authors Maria Stern
Marysia Zalewski
Paula Drummond
Elisabeth Prugl
Published in Zalewski M., Drumond P., Prugl E., Stern M. (eds) Sexual Violence Against Men in Global Politics
Pages 278
ISBN 978-1-138-20990-9
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication London
Publication year 2018
Published at School of Global Studies, Peace and Development Research
Urban Safety and Societal Security Research Center/URBSEC (GU)
Gothenburg Centre for Globalization and Development (GCGD)
School of Global Studies
Pages 278
Language en
Links https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books...
Keywords sexual violence, rape, men, global politics, war
Subject categories Political Science, Sociology, Other Social Sciences, Philosophy, Ethics and Religion, Other Humanities, Law

Abstract

Largely ignored for centuries and typically understood as part of the ‘spoils of war’, sexual violence is now evidentially ubiquitous, most notably in conflict and war zones. Indeed, in the last few decades interest in, and concern about sexual violence has increased exponentially, especially in the realm of high politics. In part, this intensified interest has resulted from the widespread incidence of wartime rape in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the early 1990s and in Rwanda in 1994. Extensive empirical evidence and reporting has helped bring to a halt the long-standing political inattention to this form of violence. The new attention has been welcomed by many. That we can now speak of sexual violence as a global and severe harm has been neither easy nor straightforward; it has required years of intense feminist scholarship and activism. Yet despite this and the high political attention, the egregious harm of sexual violence persists worldwide with people often suffering in relative silence and far removed from the purview of the global media, the policy world, and the scholarly work aimed to address it. Moreover, the exponential globalised attention appears to have accomplished little in regard to the recognition of the different kinds of victims, and the complex range of needs for redress in both the short and long term. And there remains scanty understanding of the contextual and complex relations of power and the material circumstances that produce sexual violence. As such, as editors, we sensed that there were still many gaps in the ways we think about, understand, or try to ‘do something about’ sexual violence – whether in theory, politics, or legislation; indeed, this is a political and intellectual scene of some impoverishment. Into this fraught terrain has entered the increasing visibility of sexual violence against men1 – the central concern of this book.2 Though sexual violence against men has received some fleeting comments in international documents, as in the 2013 Security Council Resolution 2106, for the most part the focus on sexual violence has not included a significant focus on men as victims and survivors.3 The Resolution, which has been celebrated as the first-ever explicit recognition of sexual violence against men by the UN Security Council, makes but a sole and peripheral reference to the issue in its preamble: Noting with concern that sexual violence in armed conflict and post-conflict situations disproportionately affects women and girls, as well as groups that are particularly vulnerable or may be specifically targeted, while also affecting men and boys and those secondarily traumatized as forced witnesses of sexual violence against family members.

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