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Lola’s War: Rape Without Punishment | Olivera Simic | Avid Reader

Thursday, 19 October 2023




Avid Reader

"”Lola's War” makes me think hard thoughts... And because Lola herself is so wonderfully portrayed here, one cannot escape the hard thinking - about gendered war, about violence against women, about personal sovereignty, about justice..."

— Professor Cynthia Enloe, author of “Twelve Feminist Lessons of War”

Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992. The war just broke out. Lola found herself in a detention camp with her young children. Together with other detained women she was gang raped by soldiers. In 2016, only one of Lola’s several perpetrators was convicted but his sentence of six years of imprisonment has never been actioned by the Bosnian judiciary. Lola’s rapist is still free and she lives in continual fear that he will retaliate against her and her children for her role in his trial.

Lola’s War is an intimate and close one-woman ‘justice journey’ on which the reader will be taken in order to gain a deeper insight into the everyday life of a survivor of wartime sexual violence. The book offers a more subtle understanding of the Bosnian war by listening to the voice of Lola, a rural Bosnian woman who in the first two months of war had become a widow, displaced, unemployed, homeless, disabled and a sole caretaker of her nine month old baby, four year old daughter and six year old son with whom she was forcibly taken from her family home to detention and rape camp. In span of only few weeks, her whole life was torn into pieces and turned into nightmare.

In “Lola’s War” Dr Simić tells extraordinary story of one woman and her three decades long fight for justice. She explores the meanings of justice by using in-depth narrative of a woman, wartime rape survivor who came out the other side of a trial empty handed and with no justice in sight.

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