Project Bulletin #04

We are back with the fourth edition of the Project Bulletin. The Bulletin gives readers a quick recap of our projects so that as our projects and partnerships grow, our readers have a sense of continuity about our work.  

For this edition, we give you a run-through of the Sexual Violence and Impunity (SVI) project below. 

Project Background

Various South Asian countries have seen an exponential rise in sexual violence. There was a deafening silence around these incidents (such as the Partition, the liberation war of Bangladesh, or internal and cross-border conflicts and insurgent movements across the region).  Structural barriers that have perpetuated silence and impunity meant that very few speak out, with the state of impunity remaining largely unchallenged.

The SVI project recognised and sought to meet the need to document and study the history and prevalence of mass sexual violence in South Asia. By collaborating on this subject and bringing our collective and comparative expertise to bear on it, we hoped not only to learn from each other but also to show a way to begin a dialogue of peace on a complex subject. 

Some of the material created

Fifty-five research papers were commissioned covering law, medical and forensic issues, historical perspectives, militarisation, states of exception, and more.

 The project gathered a community of (mostly young) researchers and produced the results in six country-based volumes and two standalone books.

The SVI Project concluded in 2016, and the Stepping Stones and Body of Evidence built on the learnings from the project, aiming to take these learnings further and in different ways. We will talk about this more in our next Bulletin!