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Historically, only men went to war. The winners took the losers' women and could rape, enslave, or kill them. As we moved into a more modern civilization, the rights of the winner over the women of the loser became less clear and were only vaguely documented. Even for modern war historians, what happens to the men on and off the battlefield is the main preoccupation. After all, women do not face combat and what happens to them seems unimportant. The rape of women by conquering armies has continued through all wars, but has rarely been considered a war crime, especially if the rapists were part of the ultimate winning forces. Rape committed by the losers has occasionally been punished by war tribunals.


Rape; Rape as a weapon of war; War crimes


Medicine and Health | Public Health | Women's Health


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Copyright American Medical Women’s Association used with permission

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