1st Edition

Gender, Shame and Sexual Violence
The Voices of Witnesses and Court Members at War Crimes Tribunals

ISBN 9781138268470
Published November 17, 2016 by Routledge
196 Pages

USD $62.95

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Book Description

Drawing on extensive interview material gathered amongst victims, witnesses, judges and NGOs, this book investigates the prosecution of rape and sexual violence in war crimes tribunals, with special attention to The International Court for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and World Court in Sarajevo. It examines the testimonies of victims and witnesses and their reasons for testifying, their attitudes towards perpetrators, the consequences of testifying, their recommendations for other witnesses and conceptions of justice. In addition, it explores the attitudes of judges, prosecutors, psychologists and those in charge of protecting and offering services. Adopting a feminist approach, ’Gender, Shame and Sexual Violence’ challenges the assumption that the deterrent effect of making rape trials more visible would reduce the occurrence of sexual violence in conflict situations, contending instead that the manner in which cases are handled both increases the victims’ sense of shame and serves to propagate a representation of women's bodies that may actually serve to increase the use of sexual violence during war. A compelling analysis of the prosecution of rape as a war crime, this volume offers extensive new empirical material that will be of interest to scholars of sociology, gender studies, criminology, politics, international relations and law.



Sara Sharratt is Emerita Professor of Psychology from Sonoma State University in California and Professor of Gender and Peace Building at the University for Peace in Costa Rica


'This book is a sobering reminder that even today our vision of a fair, just and gender equal society remains frustratingly elusive. The deafening silence of the victims serves as a clarion call for action. Their strength and courage is inspirational.' Lorena Aguilar, The International Union for Conservation of Nature, Costa Rica 'Combining the practiced eye of a clinical psychologist with the heart of a freedom fighter in a ground-breaking analysis of the international justice system Sara Sharratt asks the question of gender. Building upon the literature that unequivocally demonstrates that without this question there can be no justice, she reveals that women are still approached as a special case and that even justice is gendered.' Ellyn Kaschak, San Jose State University, USA 'Sara Sharratt reminds us of the difference between law and justice. Her work is a major milestone to remind international criminal lawyers that success cannot be measured solely by the numbers of convictions, but must also be measured by the manner in which these institutions treat sexual violence victims and fulfill women's expectations of justice.' Binaifer Nowrojee, Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa, Kenya 'The strength of the book lies in its reportage of the comments, opinions and ideas expressed by the respondents to the questionnaires and the interviewees. This material offers an important insight into the attitudes and beliefs of the various ’actors’ and the extracts from the interviews demonstrate that much remains to be done if we are to improve the ’policies and procedures for survivors, court members, and those engaged in the quest for justice for [crimes of sexual violence]’... Sharratt’s book, whilst focussed on the ICTY and the WCC, is an important addition to our understanding of the ongoing difficulties faced by women in their search for accountability.' Melbourne Journal of International Law