Editorial: Sexual violence in armed conflict: From breaking the silence to breaking the cycle

Sexual violence has been, and to a large extent continues to be, shrouded in silence. However, the dynamics behind it, including its prevalence and horrific toll on individuals and societies, have been progressively better understood over the last two decades. The conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and the Rwandan genocide in particular lifted the veil and brought to the fore the suffering of women, men, boys and girls, as well as their families and whole communities, as a result of sexual violence.

About the authors

Helen Durham
Director of International Law and Policy

Helen Durham, born 1968, has a PhD in the fields of international humanitarian law and international criminal law, and is a senior fellow at Melbourne Law School. She has been director of international law, strategy, planning and research at the Australian Red Cross and has worked as ICRC head of office in Sydney and as legal adviser to the ICRC regional delegation in the Pacific. She has also completed a number of missions with the ICRC in Myanmar, Aceh and the Philippines.
Vincent Bernard

Vincent Bernard
International Review of the Red Cross

Vincent BERNARD is editor in chief of the International Review of the Red Cross, a leading academic journal on humanitarian law, policy and action published by the ICRC and Cambridge University Press. He is also the head of the Law and Policy Forum, which leads ICRC’s engagement with expert audiences interested in teaching, researching and debating international humanitarian law (IHL). The unit runs the Humanitarium conference center in Geneva, the new Humanitarian Law and Policy blog, the IHL online training center etc. Vincent joined the ICRC in 1998 and worked in the field for 6 years in Dakar, Nairobi and Jerusalem. As head of the ICRC’s field communication set-up from 2006 to 2010 he travelled and worked in most of ICRC’s operational contexts. Prior to joining the organization, Vincent studied political science, law and international relations at the Political Science Institute and Law Faculty in Strasburg, The King’s College, London and the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, and taught law at the University of Marmara in Istanbul.