Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2022

Document Type

Honors Project

University Scholars Director

Dr. Christine Chaney

First Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Geri Mason

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Mohammad Qadam Shah


sexual violence, trauma, rape, women, Rwanda, generation


This study analyzes the Rwandan Genocide as a main case study to examine the generational impacts of the sexual violence perpetrated. The research will also examine the history of sexual violence against women in periods of conflict. These generational impacts can be seen in the public health sector, the Rwandan economy, psychological and spiritual effects on future generations, and cultural significance in Rwanda. Mothers struggling to parent their children conceived out of rape and trying to work through trauma while also working to heal their daughters. The generational impacts will be observed specifically from the female perspective (i.e. girl, young woman, woman, and the roles of wife and mother). The generational impacts of sexual violence in the context of the Rwandan Genocide will be studied to understand the generational effects of sexual violence in times of conflict more deeply. Overall, the consequences of the sexual violence during the Rwandan Genocide devastated more than one generation of people. The sexual violence resulted in devastatingly negative effects on the physical, mental, emotional wellbeing of an entire generation of women and their children. The consequences of the sexual violence perpetrated during the genocide was transferred by the women that became mothers to their children. The Rwandan government should recognize the children of the victims of sexual violence during the genocide as victims as well. The international community must encourage Rwanda to support its victims. The international community must also continue to financially support the reconstruction of Rwanda. The reconstruction of Rwanda may take decades, but it is paramount to the continued success and peace of Rwanda. International aid organizations should focus on reconstructive efforts as well. Priority should be on mental health services for victims and political stability. Together, the Rwandan government and the international community with the help of international aid organizations can support victims of sexual violence during the genocide and their children for generations.


A project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Scholars Honors Program.

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