PRIO has been awarded a new research grant from the Norwegian Research Council. The project period is from 2013-2015. The project seeks to advance the research on sexual violence and conflict processes, and facilitate evidence-based preventive strategies.

Sexual violence has become widely recognized as a problem of international security, and a possible weapon of war and genocide. However, the scientific study of sexual violence has been hampered by a lack of reliable data.

The SVAC project will undertake the most comprehensive systematic empirical analysis to date of sexual violence in armed conflict and post-conflict settings. The project centers around seven key dimensions of sexual violence: (1) Prevalence, (2) perpetrators, (3) targets (victim characteristics), (4) form (types of violence), (5) location (place/type), (6) timing, and (7) aftermath (post-conflict).

We will produce and analyze two cross-national datasets:

  • The SVAC dataset on sexual violence by conflict actors (states, armed groups, militias) covering all armed conflicts (international and intrastate conflicts) from 1989 to 2012, and their aftermath;
  • and a dataset on sexual violence in society at large based on existing household surveys in well over 30 countries.

For data triangulation purposes, and to uncover and verify/validate theoretical mechanisms, we will supplement the cross-national analyses with disaggregated analyses of the micro-foundations of sexual violence in Bosnia, Côte d'Ivoire, DRC, Peru, and Rwanda, using various methodologies and data types/sources.