Cases of sexual violence against men have been documented in a great number of conflicts and wars, both ancient and contemporary. Despite this growing empirical evidence, there is still a dearth of analyses on this type of violence, which stands in stark contrast with the abundant literature dealing with sexual violence against women.
Based on a fieldwork conducted primarily in the Great Lakes Region of Africa, this book proposes to look at wartime sexual violence against men as a performative gendered act that, stemming from the same logic underpinning sexual violence against women, (re-)affirms a gendered social hierarchy.
The book explores patterns of wartime sexual violence against men, and presents survivors’, but also perpetrators’ stories. The book proceeds to analysing the context in which this type of violence can be understood, narrated, but also addressed, either through support programs for survivors, or through legal means.
1. Conflict-Related Sexual Violence Against Men: An Overview / 2. Making Sense of Wartime Sexual Violence Against Men / 3. Surviving Wartime Sexual Violence / 4. Perpetrators and Bystanders / 5. The Elusiveness of Narratives on Wartime Sexual Violence Against Men / 6. Conceptualizing and Implementing Care and Support Programs for Male Survivors / 7. Prosecuting Wartime Sexual Violence Against Men
Wartime Sexual Violence Against Men provides a concise, yet detailed, review of the complex phenomenon of sexual violence against men in war, the perpetrators, the victims/survivors, and possible explanations, suggesting some possible theoretical leads, and highlighting practical, policy-led and legal ways forward.
Elise Feron's path-breaking research makes a powerful case for why wartime sexual violence against men should never be exceptionalised, and how it is a likely outcome of the patriarchal, violent and heteronormative world we inhabit. Written with great passion, nuance, sensitivity and intellectual rigour, it addresses a relatively understudied topic. A must-read for all academics and policymakers interested in understanding and finding solutions to wartime sexual violence.
Élise Féron is a senior researcher at the Tampere Peace Research Institute.