- Dec 11, 2006
I think you may well be right as regards some rebel troops claiming they were forced to join as this is of course a way of escaping blame. Many of those involved in the Rwandan massacres probably tried to justify themselves to others by this claim. So this claim by male soldiers is a way of making yourself appear better, more honorable, less evil.
But I think you are totally wrong to apply the same idea to those women claiming to have been raped - I don't know of any society where this is seen as being something good - even in the US or UK a woman who has been raped or forced to have sex will find that society / police will often look for reasons why she brought this upon herself and there is still a kind of stigma attached to it. Its not surprising that many girls decide to keep quiet about it, never go to the police and just try and put it behind them - not that that is always possible psychologically. Now in Africa the stigma of rape is much higher and I cannot believe any woman when interviewed is going to say 'Oh yeah I was raped 12 times' as some kind of light or throw away remark.