Transitional justice, education and sexual violence stigma: the results of a schools-based study in Bosnia-Herzegovina

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Within the context of armed conflict, the problem of sexual violence-related stigma is routinely acknowledged. Sustained efforts to tackle it, however, have often been lacking. This article argues that transitional justice processes have an important role to play in fighting stigma, and in creating new attitudinal spaces that enable those who have suffered sexual violence to tell their stories without fear of being mocked or judged. Underscoring crucial linkages between education and transitional justice, the article introduces a novel schools-based project in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH). Based on analysis of over 800 questionnaires, it demonstrates how a series of talks delivered in BiH high schools on the issue of conflict-related sexual violence led to some positive and important attitudinal changes vis-à-vis common rape myths. These educational efforts to tackle stigma are theorized in the article as highlighting a crucial attitudinal dimension of transitional justice.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-537
JournalJournal of Law and Society
Issue number4
Early online date8 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018