Rape as a Weapon of War and the Women Who Are Resisting
2 December 2019
Throughout our more than 25 years working in Burma, we’ve heard many stories from villagers about the crimes committed by Burma Army soldiers. Things like kidnapping, extortion, burning of homes, rape, and murder are all common. This report is a deeper look into the use of rape against ethnic women in Burma and how rape is used as a weapon of war.
While this is a hard topic, we hope you will read through this report to learn more and hear from the women in Burma. We pray that this report will further shine a light on what’s happening in Burma and the ongoing effects on the ethnic population. We pray that violence against women would stop and that those who have been raped would find healing and strength. We pray, too, for the Burma Army and that they would see there is a better way forward, one of love and forgiveness. I believe in the healing power of Jesus and pray that for the victims and perpetrators.
Our hope is that by reading this report you, too, will be able to pray specifically for the women of Burma. To download the report, please click the photo above or report cover below. We are grateful for all of you who stand with us and those under oppression. Thank you for your prayers and support.
May God bless you,
Dave Eubank and the Free Burma Rangers
From the Report:
The Burma Army uses rape as a weapon of war. Sexual violence has become a hallmark of the prolonged civil conflict and an indisputable tactic of the Burma Army against ethnic women. After several failed domestic and international agreements, the Burma Army continues to rape with impunity, but women across the ethnic states are tired of living in fear.
Several ethnic women from the Free Burma Rangers (FBR) agreed to be interviewed for this piece, giving personal accounts of their experiences as women in this war, as well as providing one example of how women across Burma’s ethnic states are taking action against endemic rape in the region. FBR is a multi-ethnic humanitarian service movement working to bring help, hope, and love to people in the conflict zones of Burma. Working in conjunction with local, ethnic pro-democracy groups, FBR trains, supplies, and later coordinates with what become highly mobile multi-purpose relief teams.
This paper examines the use of rape as a weapon of war in Burma’s subnational conflict. More specifically, examining how the climate of impunity, which has enabled the military to avoid prosecution, has galvanized women across Burma to take a more active role in combating gender-based violence. The female Rangers interviewed for this piece have decided to endure arduous Ranger training together to not only strengthen their bodies but to empower their spirits of resistance in hopes of putting an end to a war where, sometimes, the battlefield is their own bodies.