Child in the shadowlands

The topic of this blogpost made the headlines in a shocking way this week when US Republican Todd Akin stated that women rarely get pregnant from rape because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Akin’s medieval assertions coincided with the publication of an essay in the Lancet that went in the very opposite direction and requested more attention for children born of rape, in particular in war circumstances.

Lead author Elisa van Ee, clinical psychologist and PhD candidate at Centre ’45 introduces the essay below.

The World Health Organization described children born of rape as at risk of being neglected, stigmatized, ostracized, or abandoned. Cases of infanticide (the killing of an infant) have also been reported. Despite such general concerns, little is known about the fate of these children. Continue reading