Stolen innocence: Dishonor and taint in times of war

Published:April 19, 2022DOI:


      • Cases of adolescent male rape, sexual slavery, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, or sterilization call for an international debate.
      • The consequences that sexual violence has for children and adolescents, their communities, and societies in general, are devastating.
      • About 80% of sexual assaults go unreported.
      • In conflict settings, there are many additional challenges: lack of reporting systems, stigma, and fear of retaliation, for survivors.


      As soon as they are taken prisoner, children and adolescents in times of war are inserted into a spiral of cruelty that progresses to rape or other countless forms of physical and psychological torture using sex as a weapon. Were these children and adolescents war sex slaves? Oral sex and other sexual barbarities are part of spaces of abuse and humiliation. The damage to the personality structure of these children and adolescents is severe. The psychological consequences are numerous. Over the years, a vicious circle has been observed around this brutality.
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