Added: July 4, 2015 – Last updated: July 4, 2015


Speaker: Amra Delic

Title: War Rape Context, Stigma and Silence related to War Rape Victims and Children Born of War in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Subtitle: Experiences and Reflections 1992-2015

Conference: Interdisciplinary perspectives on Children Born of War – from World War II to current conflict settings (June 4-5, 2015). Symposium 5: Contemporay Challenges of Children Born of war from a Psychosocial Perspective

Place: Conference Center of Schloss Herrenhause, Hannover, Germany

Date: June 5, 2015

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century, 21st Century | Bosnian History | Types: Wartime Rape / Bosnian War; Victims: Rape Children


Link: -


Abstract: »During the war (1992–1995) in Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H), over 20,000 women and girls were exposed to systematic sexual persecution, rape, enslavement, deliberate keeping in detention and sexual torture in the pogroms of ‘ethnic cleansing‘. Some of them were forced to bear a child or forced to abortion. Due to specific war circumstances, in order to avoid ostracism and family rejection, with the help of international agencies many women survivors of rape were resettled in a third and distant countries, especially those who gave birth and decided to abandon a child conceived through rape. It is documented that some of those children were murdered (infanticide). In Bosnian traditional society, the rape is still considered as a matter of shame and humiliation not only for the victim but for the victim’s family and community. Although the subject of rape and unwanted pregnancy that resulted from rape have been reported since the beginning of the war in the early 1990s, many women remain silent over 20 years due to fear of being stigmatized and rejected by their family. Thus, the exact figures of those crimes have been hard to establish, and estimates of the number of war children fathered by enemy soldiers vary widely between tenths over hundreds to thousands. The silence and stigma surrounding war rape in B&H have been also attached to children born of it for very many years. After growing in the shadows of the past and entering adolescence, the issue of identity opened up and abandoned children start to search their biological origin. In this paper authors will illustrate war rape cases and elaborate a complexity of intrapsychic conflict and societal meaning of the silence and stigma surrounding war rape and babies born from rape in Bosnia and Herzegovina.« (Source: Conference Programme)

Wikipedia: Wartime sexual violence: Bosnian War, Rape during the Bosnian War