C O N C L U S I O N . T H E T R U T H I S T O U G H
Human Rights and the Politics of Transforming Experiences of
War time Rape “Trauma” into Public Memories
What would it mean for the politics of identifying war time rape if we were
to highlight how the raped woman folds the experience of sexual violence
into her daily socialities, rather than identifying her as a horrific wound? This
book argues against the prevalent understanding that war time rape is en-
gulfed in silence and can only be understood through the horrific life trajecto-
ries of those raped. In this imaginary, women raped during 1971 were not only
wounded physically and emotionally; they also have been excluded and con-
demned by their families and communities ever since. Here, self- explanatory,
patriarchal, universal codes of shame and honor, particularly among poorer
Muslims in less developed countries, are perceived to motivate both silence
and exclusion. My work shows, however, that sexual violence means neither
one moment of violation nor a lifetime as a pariah. Instead, the events of
1971 have been folded into the everyday lives of those raped, as is evident in
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