#JusticeForAsifa: Understanding How Is Rape A ‘Weapon of War’

Imagine an innocent girl, only 8, who was probably not even able to decipher what’s happening to her – being sedated, drugged on an empty stomach, repeatedly gang-raped, tortured and then murdered inside a temple. Her helpless father says he knew something horrible happened to her and they looked everywhere except the temple because they thought it was a sacred place.

What’s more wrenching is that police refused to file a complaint saying she must have eloped with a guy. The police backed the rapists, helping them to wash her body and mud-spattered her clothes before sending them to the forensic lab. But, what was the intention behind this?

Also See: About 30 Years Ago, More Than 30 Kashmiri Women Were Subjected To ‘Mass Rape’ By Indian Soldiers – But They Still Await Justice

It all comes down to this, an innocent 8-year-old was used to terrorize, show their upper hand and force the Muslim community to leave the land – in short, she was used as a weapon. Certainly, and unfortunately, this is not the first case where armed forces have used this crime to enforce themselves and pressurizing people.


The question arises amid this chaos is this: what, apart from physical lust, motivates the armed soldiers whether state-backed or irregular militia, to attack and assault civilian women?
A representative of Amnesty International Gita Sahgal says that the reasons extend beyond what we think. Rape during wars are neither the ‘spoils of war’ nor just for the sake of sexual appeasement. They, in fact, serve as a weapon as deadly as a gun. The purpose of these attacks is to ‘perpetuate their social control and redraw ethnic boundaries’, as she describes it.

Talking to BBC, she said:

“Women are seen as the reproducers and carers of the community. Therefore if one group wants to control another they often do it by impregnating women of the other community because they see it as a way of destroying the opposing community’’ (Source: BBC)

A report by Medecins Sans Frontieres says that the same strategy was used in Bosnia and unfortunate yet very planned and strategic trend links back to early 1990’s.
“In Bosnia, systematic rape was used as part of the strategy of ethnic cleansing. Women were raped so they could give birth to a Serbian baby.” – it claimed.

Despite UN recognizing it and declaring it a crime against humanity and we apparently travelling a long way in achieving societal equilibrium – it still happens, even today.

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