Making the Invisible Visible: Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict

Author: All Survivors Project
Published: Tuesday 4th July 2017 - Updated: Thursday 22nd March 2018
Summary: Making the Invisible Visible Video highlights ongoing sexual violence against men and boys across situations of conflict and displacement.


The All Survivors Project, hosted by the Williams Institute, commemorates International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict on June 19, 2017, by releasing "Making the Invisible Visible." The nine minute video highlights ongoing sexual violence against men and boys across situations of conflict and displacement.

"Nine years ago, the UN Security Council condemned sexual violence as a tactic of war and urged governments to prosecute those responsible for these acts," said Charu Lata Hogg, Director, All Survivors Project. "Making the Invisible Visible" illustrates continuing sexual violence in Sri Lanka, Bosnia, Central Africa, and Afghanistan, and raises special concerns for LGBT survivors.

Hogg continues, "Our research in Sri Lanka and Bosnia & Herzegovina tells us that the law has failed to deliver justice to male survivors of sexual violence in these two countries. Sexual violence against men and boys is often not prohibited by laws that criminalize sexual violence against women. The lack of legal standards not only contributes to impunity for such crimes, but can also inform broader social attitudes and responses to such violence. Survivors are often denied medical support, counselling, and other essential services."

"This research reinforces the need to adopt strategies that respond specifically to sexual violence against men and boys, and to integrate such approaches into international and national violence prevention and response efforts," said Andrew Park, International Director, Williams Institute. "Lack of recognition may also result in underreporting of sexual violence against men and boys."

In commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, June 19, 2017.

Lara Stemple, Director of the Health and Human Rights Law Project at UCLA School of Law, is also featured in the video. "Sexual violence against men and boys builds on the same gender subordination that affects women and girls. Sexual violence can 'feminize' men and boys, subjecting them to gender-based stigma and homophobia," said Stemple.

All Survivors Project seeks to ensure that all survivors of sexual violence in situations of conflict and displacement receive equitable access to services, remedies, and reparations. All Survivors Project has staff in Los Angeles and London.

The Williams Institute, a think tank on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy, is dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research with real-world relevance.

The Health and Human Rights Law Project at UCLA School of Law seeks to improve global health by using a framework grounded in international human rights law. Through multi-disciplinary research, training and mentorship, the Project aims to examine the relationship between health and human rights and to foster the next generation of leaders working in this area.


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