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Peace & Life Connections #265
June 19, 2015


War Rapes
       
        Rape of thousands of women has been used as a as a weapon of war throughout history – a strategic decision to spread terror and humiliation.
        Massive rapes will likely lead to feticides and infanticides (both voluntary and pressured) among those impregnated. There will also be numerous suicides – including among the rapists. The whirlwind of war pulls down many people who are never counted in the battle casualties.
        U.N. Resolution 1820, adopted in 2008, recognizes sexual violence as a war tactic and gives the U.N. authority to intervene to protect victims. The U.N.'s web page for action is Stop Rape Now.
265 no killing
 
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War Rapes and Abortion
 
          The case of women impregnated by rape has many aspects, but all the more when it’s combined with the horrific reality of war. Many tender-hearted people believe that having abortion available to women who have been targeted for rape by enemy soldiers is a matter of supplying needed medical care; some who generally oppose abortion wonder if this is an exception. How we ache to undo the damage!
        But the situation is far more complicated than the false turn-back-the-clock picture of abortion would suggest. Here are some thoughts to consider:
 
  Killing babies adds to the carnage of the innocent.
 
  For people to regard “rape-babies” or “scum-babies” as worthy targets adds fuel to the ethnic tensions commonly causing the problem in the first place.
 
  Using euphemisms for the brutal reality also feeds the dynamics of war.
 
  For many women, the killing of the child will add another trauma. Treating abortion as a problem-solver while ignoring this pain is doing them no favor.
 
  Nonviolent alternatives normally available, such as international adoption to the many families eager to adopt, or normal family or public assistance in child-rearing, are often blocked or sabotaged by heartless governments or patriarchal customs. As usual, violent “solutions” such as abortion interfere with nonviolent alternatives that take more work but provide more healing.
 
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Quotation of the Week
From United Nations Resolution 1820
 
265 UN 2        Reaffirming the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts and in peacebuilding, and stressing the importance of their equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security, and the need to increase their role in decision-making with regard to conflict prevention and resolution,
        Deeply concerned also about the persistent obstacles and challenges to women’s participation and full involvement in the prevention and resolution of conflicts as a result of violence, intimidation and discrimination, which erode women’s capacity and legitimacy to participate in post-conflict public life, and acknowledging the negative impact this has on durable peace, security and reconciliation, including post-conflict peacebuilding . . .
        Demands that all parties to armed conflict immediately take appropriate measures to protect civilians, including women and girls, from all forms of sexual violence, which could include, inter alia, enforcing appropriate military disciplinary measures and upholding the principle of command responsibility, training troops on the categorical prohibition of all forms of sexual violence against civilians, debunking myths that fuel sexual violence, vetting armed and security forces to take into account past actions of rape and other forms of sexual violence, and evacuation of women and children under imminent threat of sexual violence to safety . . . and stresses the importance of ending impunity for such acts as part of a comprehensive approach to seeking sustainable peace, justice, truth, and national reconciliation.
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