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Case Report

Health Effects of Sexual Violence against Woman as a War Weapon: Case of Bosnia War

Sibel Gögen*;.

OBJECTIVE: Health effects and human rights dimensions of sexual violence against women, a public health and human rights problem, evaluated by the case of Bosnia War.
METHODS: Bosnia War, United Nations resolutions, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) cases, activities of NGOs, approaches of WHO, Dayton Peace Agreement, current health programs were evaluated with the health effects and human rights dimensions of sexual violence against women.
RESULTS: Sexual violence against women and systematic rapes were used as an “ethnic cleaning” tool and war weapon during Bosnia War, estimated 20.000-60.000 women and girls were raped systematically, captivated in rape camps, exposed to sexual violence. Medical care following the sexual violence against women and rape should include; Determination and teatment of injuries, forensic notice and documentation, preventive and curative services for Sexually Transmitted Diseases including HIV/AIDS, emergency contraceptive services, safe medical abortus, follow up of pregnancies, psychosocial support and services and training of health care professionals. Mental Health Reform became a priority health topic for Bosnia Herzegovina aftermath of the Bosnia War. Taking measures to prevent social stigmatism of the victims, economic support and implementation of rehabilitation programs, punishment of the perpetrators to repair social and community bonds are important. ICTY investigates and punishes the crimes of rapes and sexual violence against women.
CONCLUSION: UN defines the violence against women and rapes during wars as “crime against humanity”. Besides improving the status of women, comprehensive approaches with the cooperation of medical, legal and social organisations are needed.

Key words: sexual violence against women, Bosnia War, women’s health,

Article Language: Turkish English

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