Monday, April 29, 2013
Link to Article
The New Zealand Herald earlier this year released an article detailing the heroic effort of a woman who suffered and experienced terrible rape in prison camps during the Bosnian wars between Serbian and Croatia. This woman, Nusreta Sivac, was held in a prison camp for several months where she was raped and even forced to clean up the blood from her tortured countrymen. Today, she has pleaded with women around Bosnia to give their stories of these horrible experiences of rape to the United Nations. Due to her courage and conviction, she has been able to convict numerous of the guards who raped women in the early 1990’s.
It is important to remember that rape had not been considered a war crime until the Fourth Geneva Convention in 1949. Rape was merely considered a byproduct of war. We cannot fathom the mental and emotional effects that occur when someone is raped. People hold on to these stories for decades and even lifetimes before surrendering them to someone. Often, people who have experienced traumatizing events do not have the courage or opportunity to voice their tragedies. The voice of those who have suffered is the only real account of the human rights violations and cannot be substituted by any means. Rape has been prevalent in many wars in this century including the Rwandan genocide where close to 50,000 women were raped. Only by these courageous acts, as Sivac has done, can we hear the voices of those who have suffered and bring justice to those who have blatantly ignored the rights of a human.