This introduction defines tactical rape perpetrated by state and non-state actors in intra- or inter-state conflicts. It provides background terminology, a context and a rationale for tracking the change from acceptance of tactical rape and sexual violence in conflict as inevitable to normative rejection of these pernicious practices. It claims there has been significant positive change in policies and practices resulting from work in international criminal tribunals and at the United Nations. It acknowledges the reality of the persistent practice of tactical rape and sexual violence in conflict and the criticisms and reservations regarding the claim of significant progress. It indicates there are ongoing challenges and that there will be proposals as to how these might be met.
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