Women, Violence and War: Wartime Victimization of Refugees in the Balkans

This text is about war as it is seen, lived and interpreted by women, based on interviews with seventy women refugees. Written by citizens of the former Yugoslavia who understand and appreciate the circumstances of the victims, it is a probing investigation into victimization. Many of the accounts portray the horrific experiences the victims had to face and the book addresses the issues of sexual, physical and psychological violence, as well as the problems of confinement, upheaval and family separation. The book dispels the myth that many of the women were peasants, and shows that in fact they were educated, middle-class women with independent careers. The study also depicts how some of the victims attempt to come to terms with the aftermath of wartime abuse. The text also maintains that violence against women in war is not independent of peace-time victimization and the imbalance of power between sexes.