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Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Young, Kathleen Z.
Hammond, Joyce D., 1950-
In April of 1992 the Foča municipality of Bosnia-Herzegovina was taken over by the ultranationalist Bosnian Serb, Serb and Montenegrin forces. As part of a larger strategy of genocide, the ultranationalist forces systematically raped and sexually abused the Bosniak girls and women of Foča. The systematic rapes perpetrated in the Foča municipality are representative of the larger pattern of rape during the 1992-1995 genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The use of rape as a tactical force of war in the Foča municipality garnered international media attention; resulting in a wealth of literature, interviews with survivors and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia court case The Prosecutor v. Dragoljub Kunarac, Radomir Kovač and Zoran Vuković (Kunarac et al.). The academic discourse surrounding rape as a tactical force of war within the Foča municipality, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, portrays rape survivors as an amorphous group of women defined by their Bosniak identity and, ultimately, their victimhood. Through applying narrative analysis to 26 survivor accounts originating from the texts I Begged Them to Kill Me: Crime Against the Women of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Breaking the Wall of Silence: The Voices of Raped Bosnia and the survivor testimony from Kunarac et al. this thesis revisits the narratives and courtroom testimony of rape survivors from the Foča municipality, studying the presentation of their personal and social identities. Within the context of courtroom testimony, this thesis also examines patterns of questioning by the prosecuting and defense attorneys and the identity of rape survivors within the judicial system. Ultimately, this thesis argues that while there are commonalities between the survivors' experiences and presentation of their personal and social identities, each individual survivor has her own unique perception, interpretation and coping mechanisms in regards to the trauma she experienced. To assign the Foča rape survivors a unidimensional identity is a denial of their individual identities and personhood.
Rape victims--Bosnia and Hercegovina--Foča (Opština)--Personal narratives, Rape victims--Bosnia and Hercegovina--Foča (Opština)--Psychological aspects, Rape as a weapon of war--Bosnia and Hercegovina--Foča (Opština), War victims--Bosnia and Hercegovina--Foča (Opština)--Personal narratives, Yugoslav War Crime Trials, Hague, Netherlands, 1994-
Western Washington University
Foča (Bornia and Herzegovinia : Opština)
Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.
Leaf, Francesca, "Foča Bosnia-Herzegovina: presentations of identity in survivor narratives and testimony" (2011). WWU Graduate School Collection. 168.