Violence of Mind, Body, and Spirit: Spiritual and Religious Responses Triggered by Sexual Violence During the Rwandan Genocide

  • Breann Fallon
Part of the Religion and Radicalism book series (RERA)


In this chapter, Breann Fallon explores the critical issue of genocidal wartime rape from a religious studies perspective. Focusing on the 1994 civil war in Rwanda, she discusses the impact that rape during conflict can have on survivors’ personal faith and relationship with their religious communities. Drawing on first-hand accounts from survivors of sexual violence during this conflict, she discerns the immediate and long-term impacts such violence has had on the faith of survivors. She notes that many survivors experience a loss, or “injury” to their faith, while, for others, their ordeal serves to affirm and strengthen their faith. Moreover, for some of these women, whose trauma led to an affirmation of faith, this played a key role in their long-term recovery and rehabilitation. As such, this chapter will not only highlight the impact of genocidal sexual violence on these women’s sense of faith, but will also suggest that faith should be a key consideration in the recovery and rehabilitation process.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Breann Fallon
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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