'There is a War Going on You Know' — Addressing the Complexity of Violence Against Women in Conflicted and Post Conflict Societies

Journal of Transitional Justice, Forthcoming

Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-34

47 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2013  

Monica McWilliams

Ulster University - Transitional Justice Institute

Fionnuala D. Ni Aolain

University of Minnesota Law School; Ulster University - Transitional Justice Institute; University of Ulster - Transitional Justice Institute

Date Written: August 2, 2013

Abstract

Despite a growing awareness of the universality of intimate partner violence and its recognition as a human rights violation, much less is known about the dynamics, as well as the specific forms and regulation of this violence in conflict and post conflict settings. While substantial legal consideration has been given to sexual violence occurring during armed conflict in recent decades, specifically to rape, arguably a concentration on high-profile extraordinary violence has obscured attention from the regular violence that women routinely experience in conflict and post-conflict societies. Our knowledge gap limits what we understand generally about the multidimensional complexities of intimate violence in conflict settings. It also obscures the relationship between various categories of gender-based violence, and the ways in which certain forms and practices of violence reinforce and sustain others. Based on unique empirical data from the thirty year long conflict in Northern Ireland this article examines the relationship between intimate and conflict related violence, with a particular emphasis on exploring the forms and modalities of intimate violence occurring alongside armed conflict or extensive communal violence. We analyze the way in which state and non-state actors are positioned to such violence, the complimentary masculinities that are distinguishable between diametrically positioned groups, while underscoring the effects on legal accountability by the parallel realities of societal dysfunction. The conclusion points to the need for a denser and integrated analysis of violence against women in conflicted societies

Keywords: domestic violence, war, transitional justice, security, rape, feminist theory, vulnerability, criminal law, law of war

Suggested Citation

McWilliams, Monica and Ni Aolain, Fionnuala D., 'There is a War Going on You Know' — Addressing the Complexity of Violence Against Women in Conflicted and Post Conflict Societies (August 2, 2013). Journal of Transitional Justice, Forthcoming; Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-34. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2305345

Monica McWilliams

Ulster University - Transitional Justice Institute ( email )

Jordanstown
Belfast, Northern Ireland BT370QB
Ireland
00442890368597 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://ssrn.com/author=2101330

Fionnuala D. Ni Aolain (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota Law School ( email )

229 19th Ave. So.
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
612-624-2318 (Phone)
612-625-2011 (Fax)

Ulster University - Transitional Justice Institute ( email )

Shore Road
Newtownabbey, County Antrim BT37 OQB
Northern Ireland

University of Ulster - Transitional Justice Institute ( email )

Northland Road
Londonderry, BT48 7JL
Ireland

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