chapter  7
The Prevalence of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence
When, Where and By Whom?
ByRagnhild Nordås
Pages 10

This chapter examines the phenomenon of conflict-related sexual violence and takes stock of findings from recent statistical studies. Sexual violence is a grave concern in many of the world's worst crisis situations. All of the major armed conflict actors involved in the wars in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have been implicated in sexual violence, of various kinds. Extremist Islamist groups and militias are often highlighted as the worst contemporary offenders. Sexual violence varies greatly across countries, conflicts, and actors, being neither ubiquitous nor inevitable during war. Conflict-related sexual violence can take many forms, including rape, sexual slavery, sexual mutilation/torture, forced prostitution, and forced sterilization/abortion. Continued, improved data collection and analysis of the dynamics of sexual violence are required to understand temporal developments and to document how, where, and why sexual violence war crimes are being committed.