The Consequences of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence

Funding institution: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Funding period: 2016-2019
Principal Investigator: Carlo Koos

My current research project, titled “The Silent Legacy of War – The Long-Term Consequences of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence,” is a three-year project and funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The aim is to better understanding the socio-political consequences of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV). 

Particularly, this project aims to provide answers to the following questions:

  • How does CRSV affect individuals and communities in the short and long term?
  • What are the consequences of CRSV on socio-political outcomes such as trust, social cohesion and civic and political engagement?
  • Are some individuals and communities resilient to the trauma, or recover in the long-term?
  • Which other factors mediate the effect of CRSV on social outcomes?

This project addresses these questions with a multi-method research design which incorporates both qualitative and quantiative methods. In the qualitative part field research, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with survivors of CRSV and community members in the DR Congo will be used to specify the causal mechanisms which link CRSV and social outcomes. The quantitative part will include a population-based survey experiment, behavioral games and online-surveys to test the specified mechanisms. 

The overall output of this project will contribute to shed light on this underresearched but highly relevant topic. Apart from its academic relevance, the projects incorporates the explicit goal of delivering advice to policy makers, development and humanitarian organizations.


Koos, Carlo. “Decay or Resilience: The Long-Term Social Consequences of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Sierra Leone,” Forthcoming in World Politics.

Koos, Carlo. 2017. “Sexual Violence in Armed Conflicts: Research Progress and Remaining Gaps.” Third World Quarterly. 38 (9): 1935-1951. Link Free Copies

Here is a link to the description on the official DFG-Website.