Rape as tactic of war pt.3: Hundreds of women raped by qaddafi forces

31.05.2011 § Leave a comment

At first, the responses to the questionnaire about the trauma of the war in Libya were predictable, if tragic: 10,000 people suffering post-traumatic stress, 4,000 children with psychological problems. Then came the unexpected: 259 women said they had been raped by militiamen loyal to Muammar Qaddafi.

Dr. Seham Sergewa had been working with children traumatized by the fighting in Libya but soon found herself being approached by troubled mothers who felt they could trust her with their dark secret.

The first victim came forward two months ago, followed by two more. All were mothers of children the London-trained child psychologist was treating, and all described how they were raped by militiamen fighting to keep Qaddafi in power.

Dr. Sergewa decided to add a question about rape to the survey she was distributing to Libyans living in refugee camps after being driven from their homes. The main purpose was to try to determine how children were faring in the war; she suspected many were suffering from PTSD.

To her surprise, 259 women came forward with accounts of rape. They all said the same thing.

…Rape has been a common weapon of war throughout the ages,

…Dr. Sergewa said she has interviewed 140 of the rape survivors in various states of mental anguish, and has been unable to persuade a single victim to prosecute. None would speak to the AP about her ordeal, even with a promise to hide her identity.

“Some I diagnosed with acute psychosis; they are hallucinating,” Dr. Sergewa said. “Some are very depressed; some want to commit suicide. Some want their parents to kill them because they don’t want their families to bear the shame.”

“They are using rape not just to hurt women but to terrorize entire families and communities,” Dr. Sergewa said. “The women I spoke to say they believed they were raped because their husbands and brothers were fighting Qaddafi.”

“I think it is also to put shame on the tribes or the villages, to scare people into fleeing, and to say: ‘We have raped your women,'” she said.

Dr. Sergewa says women will continue to be targets of the militiamen, and this makes it all the more urgent to finish her study and get it published.

Full article Here.

Rape as tactic of war 1

Rape as tactic of war 2


Rape as war tactic, redux: Libya

02.04.2011 § 1 Comment

“Look at what Gaddafi’s militias did to me,” Miss Obeidi told journalists at the weekend. “Look at what happens – Gaddafi’s militiamen kidnap women at gunpoint, and rape them – they rape them.”

Although Miss Obiedi lives in Tripoli, she suggested her connections to the rebel-held east had prompted the attack. Powerful military defectors, Gen Abdulfattah Younis al-Obeidi and Suleiman Mahmoud al-Obeidi. are prominent supporters of the uprising against Col Muammar Gaddafi. She said: “Easterners – we’re all Libyan brothers, we are supposed to be treated the same.”


Journalists have been unable to learn Ms. al-Obeidy’s whereabouts since she was removed by force from the Rixos Hotel here after scuffles between security personnel, hotel staff and foreign journalists she had been trying to approach on Saturday.

Mr. Ibrahim initially described her as drunk and potentially delusional. Then, later on Saturday, he called her sober and sane. And on Sunday he termed her a prostitute and a thief.

Hundreds of women to came out in protest of Obeidi.





arm the women; chaos as moral vacuum; rape as strategy of war

02.03.2011 § 1 Comment

What happens in a moral vaccum?

so Here is an article is about how there was an earthquake and afterwards domestic violence intensifies dramatically. We think about this kind of thing a lot because it’s also what happens in ‘revolutions’ – revolution starts, and women get raped and beaten killed etc (by revolutionaries no less, obv).

Rape during wartime is  a strategy of war — It is proven that violence against women rises amidst disasters/war/etc. Not to mention the fact that wherever a military base makes its home–the economic sexual exploitation of women increases 700 percent. women’s bodies under patriarchy will always be the objects with which/on which to push forth an agenda or used to “entertain” troops or genocide by procreation…

How to subvert this dynamkic?
Arming the women is the answer/always a good idea.
Why does it happen?

nothing a: Maybe it has to do with the breaking down of social order, as in, the ensuing chaos invalidates the social contract or whatever that keeps men from raping women most of the time (of course, not all of the time, but to a relatively lesser frequency). maybe  men think they can get away with it because the already-thin pretense of punitive measures disappears entirely during a crisis of community/government/society?

nothing b: But this would assume that, inherently, men want to rape women, all the time, and that only social contracts or threat of punishment prevent it. Which is to say, it posits an essence to “man” – “he who rapes women”…

nothing a: we generally dont get down with gender essentialism here at the nothing. however, under patriarchy, women are subordinated to men, using methods of control like rape. the penchant for raping women is a tool to shore up male heterosexuality and dominance over women/not-men. this nothing would argue that for many/most not-men, rape is an ever-present threat; but there is something that prevents all men from raping all not-men all the time. so maybe we could posit that the fear of retribution/punishment (ie, from a government/community/society), or some sort of social contract is the preventative block?

nothing c: i def agree that it’s not bc government breaks down, or that abuse is ever really prevented by fear, but 1), yeah, duh frustration taken out on women, and 2) it could be about the destruction of common social space.

high levels of frustration + isolation facilitate a nice private arena for abuse/manipulation. preventing abuse doesn’t require a “government,” but it does require community. revolutions create community.

nothing d: but this argument presupposes that anyone who is oppressed or experiencing high levels of stress are more lkely to be abusive SIMPLY because they are not a part of what is “ideal” or considered “normal” in capitalism and patriarchy etc etc. !


Above all, let us not conclude, with Hobbes, that because man has no idea of goodness, he must be naturally wicked; that he is vicious because he does not know virtue; that he always refuses to do his fellow-creatures services which he does not think they have a right to demand; or that by virtue of the right he truly claims to everything he needs, he foolishly imagines himself the sole proprietor of the whole universe.

– Sum MAN

Really tho, earthquakes and revolutions are not moral vacuums. They reveal the starkness of a moral order. Men raping women is not what happens when social contracts lose their hold on people, its what happens to reproduce and reinforce the social contract.

Hence the gun, but also the need for alot of bullets.

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