William & Mary Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice


Layla Abi-Falah


While mass wartime rape has become a core characteristic of modern armed conflict, transitional justice mechanisms have continuously failed to bring about successful achievement of justice, reconciliation, and truth for female survivors. The abuse, exile, and humiliation of large numbers of female rape survivors by their families and communities leaves entire societies destabilized and susceptible to prolonged instability and state failure, thus obstructing attempts by transitional justice mechanisms to usher in long-lasting peace and stability. To achieve more successful post-conflict reconstruction, transitional justice mechanisms situated in the aftermath of wars marked by mass rape must first focus on the reintegration of rape survivors. Positive reintegration can lead to greater success in transitional justice as a whole through greater survivor participation, a greater chance for restoration of survivor and community dignity, and an increase in survivor and community trust in the process as a whole, eventually leading to a domino effect on the success of subsequent goals of the mechanism and the mechanism itself.