Stories of Wartime Rape Victims: The Deconstruction of Lived Experiences in the Balkan Conflict

Tusty Ten Bensel, Lisa L. Sample

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Rape during war is not a rare phenomenon. It has been documented in many countries experiencing civil strife or war, including the United States, yet social scientists have conducted little research on this behavior. This article argues for the need to expand examinations of sexual violence to include offenders and victims of rape during war. We highlight the similarities and differences across offenders and victims of wartime and interpersonal criminal rape, suggest a data set from which wartime rape offenders and victims could be studied, and provide a case study analysis by which investigations could occur. We offer selected findings to demonstrate the strength of narrative analysis and argue that by including wartime rape victims and offenders into our analyses, we can derive a more complete understanding of sexual violence. It remains with me, with my heart and soul. I can never forget the wounds that I experienced and injuries I experienced in the 40 days at gunpoint and at the point of a knife in fear. And for long as I live, I shall never be able to forget it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-89
Number of pages13
JournalViolence and Gender
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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