Sexual Violence and Armed Conflict (SVAC)

Led by Ragnhild Nordås
Jun 2010 – Dec 2016
​​Sexual violence is widespread in many armed conflict contexts, and has detrimental consequences for the individuals and the communities that fall victim to it. The stories of the victims of horrific sexual abuses by armed forces have reached the ears of the world’s leaders, and the international community is now increasing the efforts to deal with this problem.

To better devise strategies to address the problem and install preventive measures, we need systematic knowledge about variations in where and when sexual violence occurs. This project maps sexual violence (including, but not limited to, rape) in conflict and post-conflict settings. Specifically, we will study the phenomenon of sexual violence in wars across a large sample of conflict contexts, and focus on who the perpetrators and victims are; why, when, and where sexual violence in war occurs – as well as where and when it does not occur.

The research has produced a database of sexual violence in armed conflict covering the years 1989-2009, published in Journal of Peace Research. See for more information.


PRIO Policy Brief

Nordås, Ragnhild (2012) Sexual Violence on the Decline? Recent debates and evidence suggest ‘unlikely’, CSCW Policy Brief, 3. Oslo: CSCW.
Nordås, Ragnhild & Dara Kay Cohen (2012) Sexual Violence by Militias in African Conflicts: Not a question of ‘delegation’ by states, CSCW Policy Brief, 1. Oslo: CSCW.
Nordås, Ragnhild & Dara Kay Cohen (2012) Sexual Violence in African Conflicts, 1989–2009: What the data show, CSCW Policy Brief, 2. Oslo: CSCW.
Nordås, Ragnhild (2011) Sexual Violence in African Conflicts, CSCW Policy Brief, 1. Oslo: PRIO.