Sexualised violence has been used to humiliate prisoners of war, civilians under occupation, and to punish collaborators.
People within military organisations have been deeply traumatised when solicited, entrapped, or coerced into sex acts, designed to demoralise them, or initiate them into a group.
The Vietnam body counts, 1966
by Clifton Pugh (1924–1990)ON LOAN COURTESY OF THE AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL ART90934
Sexual violence has been a constant, hideous companion of war since the very beginning.
The rape and murder of hundreds of civilians by American soldiers at My Lai (16 March 1968) during the Vietnam War contributed to a lessening of support for the war in Australia.
Artist Clifton Pugh had himself been involved in the killing of enemy prisoners of war during the Second World War and, as an occupying soldier in Japan, had established a brothel hiring destitute local women. Remorse led him to campaign for peace in later life.
Reviewed 11 February 2022