This article examines why survivors of rape in conflict take part in academic research and the impact that participating in sexual violence studies has on them. The research is based on 76 qualitative interviews conducted with survivors of sexual violence in the East of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The study established that survivors of rape were driven to participate in the research mainly because of their need to speak out and share their experiences, but participants were also influenced by the desire to seek advice and their willingness to help others in similar circumstances. The study also showed that most survivors interviewed found the experience of taking part in research beneficial. The article provides key methodological and ethical recommendations for the conduct of similar research in this area, focusing on methods, empathy, and the need for researchers to be prepared to go beyond their academic role when engaging with survivors.
Bibliographical noteCopyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.
FunderThis research was funded by the British Academy (Award number SG 150505).
- rape survivors
- research participation