Challenging Conceptions

Children Born of Wartime Rape and Sexual Exploitation

Edited by Kimberly Theidon, Dyan Mazurana, and Dipali Anumol

  • Provides cutting-edge findings on children born of wartime rape, their mothers, and families over the life cycle
  • Discusses actions that can lead to positive changes in public perceptions and government policy regarding children born of wartime rape and their mothers
  • Shows why feminist approaches to post-conflict periods are vitally important to families, societies and nations.
  • Offers compelling qualitative research on how war affected children can change their fate

Governments, international organizations, and international laws and courts increasingly pay attention to conflict-related sexual violence. The core of the UN Women Peace and Security Agenda is stopping conflict-related sexual violence against women. Yet, with over two decades of grappling with conflict-related sexual violence and its legacies, there is only passing mention of the potential and obvious outcomes of sexual violence: pregnancy, abortion, forced maternity. What do we know about children conceived through acts of sexual abuse? What are their life chances? How do they exist with their mothers and within their families? In this collection we hear from the leading researchers and practitioners from around the globe, each of whom has spent decades working with women who survived wartime rape and with their children who were the result of that violence.

This ground-breaking collection explores the life cycles of children born of wartime rape across time and space. It shines light on why young people born of rape are or are not able rejoin their families and society in the post-conflict. It explores the different ways these children learn about their origins and how they, their families and societies react to that understanding. It reveals the local, national, and international actions of how children born of wartime rape and their families are positioned in society and how they strive to transcend this and position themselves as they move from abuse, marginalization and pain into belonging and justice.