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

47 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2014

See all articles by Fionnuala D. Ni Aolain

Fionnuala D. Ni Aolain

University of Minnesota Law School; The Queens University of Belfast

Monica McWilliams

Ulster University - Transitional Justice Institute

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 4, 2014


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 theoretically diametrically positioned groups, while underscoring the effects on legal accountabilitythat results from 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: Violence against women, conflict, post conflict, societies

Suggested Citation

Ni Aolain, Fionnuala D. and McWilliams, Monica, 'There is a War Going on You Know' -- Addressing the Complexity of Violence Against Women in Conflicted and Post Conflict Societies (March 4, 2014). Transitional Justice Institute Research Paper No. 14-01, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2404392 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2404392

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)

The Queens University of Belfast ( email )

University Square
Belfast, County Down
Northern Ireland

Monica McWilliams

Ulster University - Transitional Justice Institute ( email )

Belfast, Northern Ireland BT370QB
00442890368597 (Phone)

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