How do you accuse your neighbor of a war crime? How do you stand in front of uniformed officers and make the claim that rather than liberators, these people are rapists? What does it take to demonstrate to a village that all of the crimes that have been perpetrated against its people are worthy of conviction – including long-ignored sexual violence?
Rape and pillage are concepts as old as war itself. Certainly war carries with it the idea of gathering the spoils found by those who stand victorious on the battlefield. But does sexual violence have to be a part of war? And what are the risks and sacrifices involved in ensuring that the legal system provides justice for everyone?
It is our contention that with perseverance there will be a global understanding that sexual violence cannot be tolerated as a by-product of war and that victims and combatants will expect that these crimes will be prosecuted.