Duty, Honor, and Rape: A War’s Hidden Tragedy

Duty, Honor, and Rape: A War;s Hidden Tragedy
When war erupts, the rules we lived by before the battle no longer apply.The purposeful ending of lives and the devastation of property become widely accepted, either reluctantly or wholeheartedly.We must defeat the enemy, we say.We must kill.We must win.Therefore, whatever dark side there is to being human that allows us to accomplish those goals is permitted to see the light of day.We may regret an act committed in war, but it is likely to be justified in some way, as the savagery of the warrior is deemed necessary to fulfill our goal of victory.Emotions usually repressed are encouraged and violence is embraced as a needed activity.Rape, in times of war, is as old as the Bible and as new as today;s headlines on the Kosovar refugee crisis.From the military laws laid out in Deuteronomy 1 to the recent Serbian threat, victims of rape seem as much a part of a war-zone as bodies upon a battlefield.A tragic side effect of ethnic war is the manipulation of rape figures to advance special interests.
The context of war adds a new dimension to the issue of sexual violence, now an;accepted; tactic that is widely used in wars around the globe.However, rape has been little more than a footnote in the history of warfare.The motivations behind such acts vary from obvious notions of political incentives to the ideology of deep-seeded human nature.Rape strikes in many different levels.The obvious being an attack against the individual-the personal identity and integrity, one that touches the core constructions of identity and ontological security in its most personal and profound sense.The act of rape takes away the fight of the victims to control their own bodies.It makes the victims feel unworthy and inferior.It destroys a person;s fundamental assumptions about the safety of the world, the positive value of the self, and the meaningful o…

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