Event centrality and conflict-related sexual violence: a new application of the Centrality of Event Scale (CES)

Janine Clark*, Philip Jefferies, Michael Ungar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Berntsen and Rubin’s Centrality of Event Scale (CES) has been used in many different studies. This interdisciplinary and exploratory article is the first to apply the scale and to analyse event centrality in the context of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV). It draws on a research sample of 449 victims-/survivors of CRSV in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Colombia and Uganda. Existing research on event centrality has mainly focused on the concept’s relationship with post-traumatic stress disorder and/or post-traumatic growth. This article, in contrast, does something new, by examining associations between high event centrality, resilience, well-being and experienced consequences of CRSV, as well as ethnicity and leadership. Its analyses strongly accentuate crucial contextual dimensions of event centrality, in turn highlighting that the concept has wider implications for policy and interventions aimed at supporting those who have suffered CRSV. Ultimately, the article juxtaposes event centrality with a ‘survivor-centred approach’ to CRSV, using the former to argue for a reframing of the latter. This reframing means giving greater attention to the social ecologies (environments) that shape legacies of sexual violence in conflict.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Review of Victimology
Early online date24 Aug 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by the European Research Council under the Horizon 2020 programme (grant number 724518).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • conflict-related sexual violence
  • Colombia
  • Centrality of Event Scale
  • Uganda
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • resilience
  • event centrality


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