Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2023

Document Type

Honors Project

University Scholars Director

Dr. Christine Chaney

First Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Rebecca Hughes

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Alissa Walter


history, genocide, sexual violence, rape, holocaust, rwanda


This research seeks to analyze and understand the approach and treatment of victims of sexual assaults stories and accounts using case studies of the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide. Research was conducted by collecting and reading first-hand accounts of survivors and their experiences of sexual assault, then analyzing the historical response following the events. The two case studies are synthesized and compared in this project to understand which attributes of political and social policy effected the reception of stories of victims and witnesses of rape and assault. Both genocides are affected by unique struggles in collecting witness accounts, as well as stigma around traumatic data of this nature, and approaches to these stories shifted widely between the Holocaust and the genocide in Rwanda. This research advocates for a treatment of sexual violence and rape in genocide as an unavoidable part of human history, not just a woman’s issue, and an area that demands more attention than has been given to it.


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

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