The Soul Has Died
(Lawyers and Doctors for Human Rights)
Contrary to traditional assumptions, sexual violence in conflict is not restricted to women and girls. Men and boys are also victimised. Indeed, the prevalence of male sexual violence in some conflict settings may be very high. Yet there has been little focus on cases of sexual violence against men and boys. It is not well-recognised or understood, nor has any identification of its prevalence been translated into cohesive and consistent action, response or accountability. The “dearth of systematic data on male victimisation is problematic: it demonstrates the pervasive gendered expectations about women’s and men’s roles [with women as the only victims and men solely as perpetrators] during war time prevent researchers and policymakers alike from robustly analysing questions about wartime sexual violence. [M]ore consistent reporting on the occurrence, forms, patterns and prevalence of male sexual violence could assist international investigators, prosecutors, victims’ and defence counsel, and judges, leading to increased legal recognition of these violations.