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Rape As A Crime Of War Young Girls are systematically raped by entire army units rather then by a single soldier as before Girls are taken to soldier camps and held naked in their tents for days on end many never return home Woman are strung up naked from trees their breasts are lacerated with knives as soldiers tell them that their breasts will never again give new born militants milk Woman and girls are paraded naked through villages while soldiers beat them on their breasts with sticks Violence against woman especially rape has added its own brand of shame to recent wars From conflicts in Bosnia to Peru to Rwanda girls and woman have been singled out for rape imprisonment torture and execution Rape identified by psychologists as be the most intrusive of traumatic events has been documented in many armed conflicts including those in Bangladesh Cambodia Cyprus Haiti Liberia Somalia and Uganda Sexual violation of women erodes the fabric of a community in a way that few weapons can Rapes damage can be devastating because of the strong communal reaction to the violation and pain stamped on entire families The harm inflicted in such cases on a woman by a rapist is an attack on her family and culture as in many societies woman are viewed as repositories of a communitys cultural and spiritual value Systematic rape is often used as a weapon in ethnic cleansing This so called cleansing can be explicitly ordered or tactfully condoned by military authorities In situations of ethnic conflict Rape can be both a military strategy and a nationalistic policy In the former Yugoslavia refugees described how public raping of women by military forces was used systematically to force families to flee their villages therefore achieving their goal of ethnic cleansing In Some raids in Rwanda virtually every adolescent girl who survived
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