Counting the countless – rape victimisation during the Rwandan Genocide

C.C.J.H. Bijleveld, A. Morssinkhof, A.L. Smeulers

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Rape is regularly committed during a period of collective violence such as war. The article discusses the Rwandan genocide during which rape was used with the deliberate intent to destroy in whole or in part the Tutsi community. Rape is not often studied in such particular contexts, so little is known about its prevalence in genocide; as a consequence, the comprehensive impact of genocidal incidents remains underaddressed. We estimate the prevalence of rape victimization (i.e., the number of women raped) during the Rwandan genocide in 1994. In doing so, we apply a methodology in which we use conservative victimization estimates, disaggregating between victims who were killed and victims who survived. We arrive at an estimated lower bound of a little more than 350,000 female rape victims, most of whom were Tutsi. We discuss the importance of arriving at reliable estimates, the methodology, and implications for future research. © 2009 Georgia State University Research Foundation, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-224
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Criminal Justice Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

June 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'Counting the countless – rape victimisation during the Rwandan Genocide'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this