The Effect of Sexual Violence on Negotiated Outcomes in Civil Conflicts

Authored by: Tiffany S. Chu and Jessica Maves Braithwaite

Categories: Humanitarian Emergencies, Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: Mass Atrocities, Peace Accords, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)
Year: 2019
Citation: Chu, Tiffany S, and Jessica Maves Braithwaite. “The Effect of Sexual Violence on Negotiated Outcomes in Civil Conflicts.” Conflict Management and Peace Science 35, no. 3 (May 2018): 233–47. doi:10.1177/0738894217693595.

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Combatants used sexual violence in approximately half of all civil conflicts since 1989. We expect that when groups resort to sexual violence they are organizationally vulnerable, unlikely to win, and as such they are inclined to salvage something from the conflict by way of a settlement. Using quantitative analysis of data on civil conflicts in the post-Cold War period, we find that a higher prevalence of sexual violence perpetrated by government forces precipitates negotiated outcomes. This is particularly true in contexts where both government and rebel forces utilize comparable levels of wartime rape and other forms of sexual abuse.