Researching wartime rape in Eastern Congo: Why we should continue to talk to survivors

Sahla Aroussi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582-597
Number of pages16
JournalQualitative Research
Issue number5
Early online date12 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

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  • rape survivors
  • conflict
  • Africa
  • research participation
  • Congo

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