During modern armed conflicts, victims are far more likely to be civilians than soldiers. A unique harm of war for women is the trauma inflicted in military brothels, rape camps, through sex-trafficing and forced prostitution. Women and girls face imprisonment, torture, execution and sexual violence, which is often deployed systematically with the involvement of the government, with military or political intentions.
Rape, as a weapon of war, often accompanied by genital mutilation, is used to terrorize a population, to break up communities, to change the ethic make-up of the next generation, or to purposely infect women with HIV and to disable them from bearing children.
The cause of it is seen in the fact that the military is dominated by males, who are overwhelmed by the hierachical order and tend to abuse the power given to them with weapons.
The impacts of violence include ongoing trauma, ostracisation and rejection by families and communities, unwanted pregnancies, rejection of those children, the spread of STDs, suicide and coerced suicide (pressured by husbands or other community members).
Sexual violence tends to continue post-conflict, since men have been conditioned to behave violently. Studies show an increase in gender violence and in damaged family relations.
In order to be able to eliminate the problem of violence against women and girls, there needs to be medical and psychosocial support systems. The reason why most cases go unreported is because of social stigma and fear caused by the cultural norm in affected countries putting the responsability and blame on the victims.
In addition to that, lack of response services and the weak administration of justice lead to offenders being unpunished, further discouraging victims and encouraging rape.The general absence of justice, the continuing conflict, discrimination and culture of impunity regarding these crimes allow them to not only have dreadful consequences for the victims but to also destroy the society as a whole.