'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
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
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