"War, Rape and Genocide: Never Again?"
War, Rape and Genocide: Never Again? Martin Donohoe Special Thanks To Sidel and Barry Levy (War and Vic Public Health) Photographers James Nachtwey, Sebastio Salgado, and others Outline Sudanese genocide History of wartime violence against women in the 20th Century VAW in the U.S. military War and “Masculinity” The Nature of Violence and Rape in War Outline Health Consequences Refugee Camps Human Rights Issues Role of Health Professionals Conclusions and Recommendations Darfur, Sudan As many as 300,000 - 450,000 deaths over last two years (most from disease) 2.7 million in refugee camps Government-supported, Islamic Janjaweed militias responsible for killing Black Africans Arms sales to Sudan from China, Russia, France, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Belarus, Poland, Lithuania Darfur, Sudan Bush administration called situation “genocide”, yet failed to act substantively Bush administration relied on Sudan, which used to harbor Osama bin Laden, for military intelligence Obama administration has failed to act significantly, despite 2010 mass rape/indictment of warlord Darfur, Sudan Bipartisan Congressional Research Service reports administration concerned that holding Sudanese officials accountable could “disrupt cooperation” Nevertheless, mild economic sanctions and travel restrictions enacted in May, 2007 Election to form Southern Sudan (1/11) may bring peace Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) “Africa’s World War” Between 700,000 and 3 million deaths 2 million displaced 1.7-1.8 million women raped; 3.1-3.4 million victims of IPV 2011: 48 rapes/hr Unraveling of civil society Life expectancy for those born in 2011 = 40 History 250 wars in 20th Century Most conflicts within and between small states Many in sub-Saharan Africa 85-90% of casualties among civilians Opposite at end of 19th Century Infamous Genocides China (under Mao), late 1950s – early 1970s: 30 million killed USSR (mostly under Stalin), 1920 – mid 1950s: 20 million killed Germany (under Nazis), mid 1930s – 1945: over 11 million killed Japan, late 1930s – mid 1940s: 10 million killed History Women considered spoils of war Abduction of Helen of Troy Rape of the Sabine women Hundreds of thousands raped in 20th Century conflicts History - World War II Rape widespread on most sides in World War II (Americans = least common perpetrators) Japanese soldiers forced between 100,000 and 200,000 women into sexual slavery (“comfort women”) *Korea, Burma, China, Holland, Indonesia, Phillipines “Comfort Women” Some underwent forced hysterectomies to prevent menstruation, make them constantly “available” More than half died due to mistreatment “Comfort Women” 3-5 year detention 5-20 rapes per day For 3 yrs of enslavement, low estimate is 7500 rapes per woman Japan has not compensated any victims Historical blindness to atrocities History Vietnam War Perpetrators included U.S. soldiers Few brought to justice 1971: Bangladesh War for Independence 200,000 - 400,000 girls and women raped by Pakistani army 25,000 pregnancies History 1994: Rwandan genocide At least 250,000 women raped 1990s: ethnic cleansing in Bosnia >20,000 Moslem women raped Other 20th Century conflicts: civil wars in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Egypt, Libya, Syria History 2000s: Well-documented, credible allegations of sexual humiliation and rape against female detainees at US facilities in Afghanistan and Iraq Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison: sexual humiliation, forced homosexual poses Guantanamo Bay prison: Muslims taunted with fake menstrual blood Amnesty International and Red Cross have condemned Violence against women in the U.S. military 5 - 20 times more likely than other government employees to have suffered a completed or attempted sexual assault Higher rates of chronic pelvic pain, dysmenorrhea, abnormal periods, premenstrual syndrome, and dissatisfaction with sexual relations all correlate with a history of sexual trauma while in the military Violence against women in the U.S. military U.S. military now 14% female While racial epithets banned, terms like “bitch”, “pussy”, “dyke” still common Pornography officially banned, but easily available Violence against women in the U.S. military 2007 Pentagon report: 2,085 sexual assaults But est. 60%-80% not reported Veterans Administration study: 24% of female patients under age 50 reported domestic violence within the past year 2008-2011: dramatic increase in reported sexual assaults Violence against women in the U.S. military Government Accountability Office Report, 2006 Aggressive and duplicitous recruiting tactics on rise Including sexual harassment and rape 2008: Defense Dept. granting more moral waivers, due to declining recruitment, thus enlisting more men with records of domestic and sexual violence Militarism and “Masculinity” Pervasive glorification of war and its acceptance as means of conflict resolution Linked to antiquated definitions of appropriate masculine behavior and coming-of-age rites Militarism and “Masculinity” Vocabulary and imagery laden with denigrations of the feminine and perverse phallic imagery of weapons as extensions of male generative organs weapons ads employ sexual imagery weapons described in terms of “hardness, penetration, and thrust” War and “Masculinity” Association of military bases with prostitution Tacitly accepted by commanders Men dominant decision-makers in pursuing militarization, fighting wars, and resolving international conflicts Violence and Rape in War Occurs against backdrop of ongoing individual and societal forms of violence against women Rape Individual acts of violence Genocide (to terrorize, subjugate, humiliate, and ethnically cleanse subjugated population) Violence and Rape in War Usually more sadistic and violent than rape outside of war Often committed in presence of woman’s husband and children, who are often then killed Violence and Rape in War Forced continuation of pregnancy 1994 Rwandan genocide – 5000 pregnancies Enfants mauvais souvenir (“children of bad blood”) Difficulty caring for children Abandonment and infanticide Violence and Rape in War Male victims: Raped, forced to commit rape against other victims / perform sex acts on other prisoners and/or guards, castrations, forced circumcisions, other sexual mutilations All under threat of torture or death Health Consequences of Rape in War Traumatic injuries, including fistulae STDs, including HIV Pregnancy Access to emergency contraception, abortion, and antibiotics often extremely limited Health Consequences of Rape in War Short-term psychological sequelae: Fear, profound sense of helplessness and desperation Long-term psychiatric sequelae: Depression, anxiety disorders (including PTSD), multiple somatic symptoms, flashbacks, difficulty reestablishing intimate relationships, shame, persistent fears, and blunted enjoyment of life Peacekeepers / Refugee Camps 7,000 man African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur under investigation for raping and abusing local women and girls Refugees forced to endure rape at border crossings as “price of passage” Refugee Camps Guards rape women or force them into sex in return for protection from bandits or for basic goods, including food Presence of abusive guards inside camps, and bandits just outside, makes simple tasks such as going to the latrine or gathering water or firewood dangerous/life threatening Human Rights Issues Violence against women and girls violates several principles enshrined in international and regional human rights law, including the right to life, equality, security, equal protection under the law, and freedom from torture and other cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment Human Rights Issues Tokyo War Crimes Trial: rape first identified as a war crime Successful prosecution of some commanders 1993: UN Commission on Human Rights resolution calls rape a crime of war Human Rights Issues 2001: International War Crimes Tribunal rules that rape in war is a crime against humanity 1990s/2000s: successful prosecutions of rape as a war crime and act of genocide 2009/2010: International Criminal Court issues warrants fro arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for human rights abuses/genocide Al-Bashir still in power Human Rights Issues – Other International Agreements The Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) adopted by UN General Assembly in 1979 calls for equality of the sexes in political, social, cultural, civil, and other fields Ratified by 162 countries, but not U.S. Human Rights Issues – Other International Agreements UN Security Council Resolution 1325 adopted in 2000 mandates the protection of, and respect for, the human rights of women and girls calls on all parties to armed conflict to take specific measures to protect women and girls from gender- based violence, particularly rape and sexual violence U.S. has not signed Human Rights Issues – Other International Agreements International Criminal Court established by international treaty in 2002 codifies accountability for gender-based crimes against women during military conflict by defining sexual and gender violence of all kinds as war crimes 139 countries have signed on, U.S. has not Role of Health Professionals Document incidents of rape Use medical data to verify widespread rape Use techniques of medical science to validate victims’ testimonies Treat individual victims Management of victims of sexual violence during war Conduct a full history and physical examination Treat physical injuries and sexually-transmitted diseases Offer emergency contraception and referral for abortion Provide counseling and psychological support Management of victims of sexual violence during war Facilitate reporting to appropriate authorities Gather forensic evidence Provide documentation of findings (in triplicate, with a copy for the victim, the United Nations High Commission of Refugees and the provider’s medical agency) Management of victims of sexual violence during war Health exams should be conducted in a confidential manner by trained workers in a safe environment Female providers should be widely available Management of victims of sexual violence during war In refugee camps: Place water collection points and latrines in central, well-lighted areas food distributed directly to women House female-headed groups and unaccompanied children in safe areas Women should be involved in designing and running the camps Conclusions and Recommendations Each war represents a failure of our species to live in harmony, a waste of precious human capital, a further scourge on the environment, and a crime against all humanity Rape in war represents the malevolent nadir of human behavior Conclusions and Recommendations Given the increasing spread of technology and materials for the construction of weapons of both small- and large-scale destruction, the enormity of the social and environmental problems facing humanity, and the realistic potential for the demise of the human species, rapid change is desperately needed U.S. Must Play Leadership Role Limiting consumption Cutting unnecessary military programs Increasing funds and using troops for international peacemaking (instead of making war) Building alliances with the UN to solve international disputes U.S. Must Play Leadership Role Vigorously investigate its own human rights abuses and fully prosecute those responsible Sign on to international agreements: CEDAW, UNSC Resolution 1325, ICC, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, and the Convention for the Suppression of Traffic in Persons, others U.S. Must Play Leadership Role Pass International Violence Against Women Act Would require US government to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls as a part of US foreign policy and aid programs Stalled in Congress Join forces with international community to rapidly apply both economic and military pressure, including the protective use of military troops, to halt genocide and mass rape Conclusions We failed to act to halt the genocide in the Sudan, just as we failed to act in Rwanda And yet we continue to say, “Never again”………. It is time for our nation’s policies to match this rhetoric References Donohoe MT. Individual and societal forms of violence against women in the United States and the developing world: an overview. Curr Women’s Hlth Reports 2002;2(5):313-319. Donohoe MT. Violence and human rights abuses against women in the developing world. Medscape Ob/Gyn and Women’s Health 2003;8(2): posted 11/26/03. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/464255 Donohoe MT. Violence against women: Partner abuse and sexual assault. Hospital Physician 2004;40(10):24-31. Available at http://www.turner- white.com/memberfile.php?PubCode=hp_oct04_partner.pdf References Donohoe MT. War, rape and genocide: Never again? Medscape Ob/Gyn and Women’s Health 2004;9(2): posted 10/22/04. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/491147 Donohoe MT. Violence against women in the military. Medscape Ob/Gyn and Women’s Health 2005;10(2): posted 9/13/05. Available at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/512380 Contact Information Public Health and Social Justice Website http://www.phsj.org email@example.com