Chapter 4: ‘We were controlled, we were not allowed to express our sexuality, our intimacy was suppressed’: sexual violence experienced by boys
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Why are academic and policy discourses on child soldiers relatively silent on sexual violence against boys in armed groups? Drawing from the experiences of boys forcibly conscripted into the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), this chapter seeks to transcend the gendered language of sexual slavery, concubines, forced pregnancy and rape. Most sexual and intimate relations in the LRA were violent impositions given the group’s modus operandi of forced conscription and sexual regulation. Keeping this in mind, the chapter maps the multiple forms of sexual violence experienced by boys following their abduction and coming of age within the armed group. We note the erasures and conceptual challenges the category of the child soldier poses and highlight the need to advance analytical assemblages that extend beyond ageist and gendered understandings of sexual violence.

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