Human Security Report Project, Human Security Report 2012: Sexual Violence, Education, and War: Beyond the Mainstream Narrative, (Vancouver: Human Security Press, 2012)

What we know about wartime sexual violence and the impact of war on education is sometimes flat-out wrong. That is the conclusion of the Human Security Report 2012, which is full of surprising, often counter-intuitive, findings on global and regional trends in armed conflict.

The report, which aims to shed new light on the human costs of war and which is inspired by the UN's Human Development Report, claims for example that there is no compelling evidence to support the widely held assumptions that conflict-related sexual violence is on the rise or that rape is increasingly being deployed as a "weapon of war".

Another counter-intuitive finding of the report is that the mainstream narrative actually ignores the greatest source of wartime sexual violence, namely domestic sexual violence in wartime, which the study claims is far more pervasive and which victimizes a far greater number of women than sexual violence committed by combatants. Similarly surprising is the conclusion that more often than not educational outcomes in war-affected countries actually improve over time, even in the regions worst affected by conflict.

The study also presents new research on two issues which are often overlooked, wartime sexual violence against males and female perpetration of sexual violence, claiming that these types of violence occur much more frequent than generally believed.