Breaking the silence: an intersectional approach to sexual violence and harm narratives of women living in Lebanon
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Lebanon has experienced war and conflict for the last four decades, yet there is an absence of literature on Lebanese women’s lived experience of the Lebanese Civil War (LCW) (April 1975 – October 1989), and the ongoing conflict that has occurred thereafter. There are limited accounts of Lebanese women’s experience of sexual violence during times of conflict, and the existing literature does not address their resilience and survivorship. The militarization of public spaces increases the vulnerability of women living in Lebanon and advances masculinization within patriarchal power structures (Accad, 1990; Farr et al., 2009, Holt, 2014; Holt, 2013; Joseph, 2012). This dissertation utilizes a qualitative methodological approach to uncover in-depth narratives detailing the experiences of violence among Lebanese women within a politically conflicted nation. The research examines the gendered social relations, exploring topics such as sexuality and the female body. Furthermore, this dissertation will explore coping strategies and the use of shelter services. It seeks to understand the perspectives of Lebanese women residing in a conflict-ridden country, as they confront and challenge prevailing cultural ideologies regarding sexual violence, victimization, patriarchy, shame, and honour in Lebanon. Examining the real lived experiences of women residing in Lebanon can be significant in advancing the field of social justice and advocating for human rights in war-torn countries.