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Report challenges beliefs on sexual attacks in war

Published October 10, 2012 12:58 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

United Nations • A new report by Canadian researchers challenges the widespread belief that rape is increasingly being used as a "weapon of war."

The report by a research team at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver says there is no compelling evidence to support this belief or the assumption that the experience of the small number of countries afflicted by extreme levels of sexual violence is shared in other conflict zones.

But Sebastian Merz, associate director of the project that produced the report, told a news conference here Wednesday there is evidence, which is largely overlooked, that the most common perpetrators of sexual violence in wartime are husbands, partners or other family members — not combatants.