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Struggling to Survive: Barriers to Justice for Rape Victims in Rwanda

Shiva Eftekhari


Ten years after the 1994 genocide, many of the tens of thousands of Rwandan women who were victims of sexual violence have remained without legal redress or reparation. Perpetrators of the genocide employed sexual violence against women and girls as a brutally effective tool to humiliate and subjugate Tutsi and politically moderate Hutu. Grieving for lost family members and suffering physical and psychological consequences of the violence, women and girls who were victims of sexual violence are among the most devastated and disadvantaged of genocide survivors.

This report documents the inadequacy of Rwandan government efforts to ensure legal redress and medical assistance and counseling to these victims, including those suffering from HIV/AIDS. The report also examines the continuing problem of sexual violence in Rwanda and shows that victims of these crimes face obstacles to accountability and health care similar to those faced by women and girls who suffered sexual violence during the genocide.

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JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies. ISSN: 1530-5686 (online).
Editors: Nkiru Nzegwu; Book Editor: Mary Dillard.

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