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3 Challenges to Successful Outcomes in Sexual Violence Cases

Michelle Jarvis, Kate Vigneswaran

From: Prosecuting Conflict-Related Sexual Violence at the ICTY

Edited By: Baron Serge Brammertz, Michelle Jarvis

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 18 October 2021

Right to fair trial — Rape and sexual violence

This chapter explores how misconceptions about the nature of conflict-related sexual violence and barriers impeding victims from speaking out presented obstacles to overcome in successfully prosecuting sexual violence. Misconceptions, such as those that oversimplify matters or enforce certain prejudices, can impede accountability. Other challenges to a successful prosecution involve the reluctance of the victims to come forward due to societal pressures, the varied methods for addressing the issue on an international scope, among others. This chapter also describes how these obstacles, in combination with the broad discretion resting with individuals working on conflict-related atrocities, increased the complexity of establishing accountability for sexual violence crimes. Yet it is important to note that, despite the many obstacles discussed, such barriers are not impossible to overcome.

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