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Rape, in wartime, refers to situations in which soldiers from national armies or nonstate belligerents sexually assault women as part of their military campaign in order to establish their domination. Sexual violence has always been a side effect of armed conflicts, as modern examples highlight: during the Napoleonic Wars, many women were assaulted; in the first half of the 20th century, hundreds of thousands of women were abducted as “comfort women” by the Japanese Army; during World War II, German soldiers assaulted western European and Russian women prior to Russian troops engaging in large-scale rape of German women and girls; more recently, during the Vietnam War, American soldiers allegedly also engaged in large-scale rape of Vietnamese women.

Rape during wartime was previously perceived as collateral damage, ...

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