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The ‘War’ / ‘Not-War’ Divide: Domestic violence in the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative

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JournalThe British Journal of Politics & International Relations
DateAccepted/In press - 17 Aug 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 3 Oct 2018
Early online date3/10/18
Original languageEnglish


While recognising the importance of policy designed to tackle conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence, scholars have increasingly critiqued such policies for failing to sufficiently apprehend the multiple forms of this violence - from rape deployed as a weapon of war to domestic violence - as interrelated oppressions located along a continuum. In this article I explore a connected but distinct line of critique, arguing that SGBV policies are also limited by a narrow understanding of how gender-based violences relate to war itself. Drawing on an analysis of the British Government’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, I identify a key distinction which emerges between those types of SGBV which are considered to be part of war, and those which are not. This division, I suggest, closes down space for recognising how war is also enacted within private spaces.

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© The Author(s) 2018. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details

    Research areas

  • armed conflict, conflict-related SGBV, domestic violence, gender, preventing sexual violence initiative, private sphere, PSVI, public sphere, sexual and gender-based violence, war, women peace and security agenda

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