In Syria, rape is being used by armed groups as a means to an end.
'Last month, Human Rights Watch issued a report documenting sexual violence used by government agents in detention centres. Men, women and boys have reported rape, penetration with foreign objects, groping, forced nudity, and genital trauma while in the custody of the state.'
The attacks aim to instill fear and terror in not just the immediate victims of sexual violence, but the wider community connected with the victim. The effect on the audience, in this case, is at least as important as, if not more important than, the effect on the victim.
[This] function of sexual violence in Syria shows how rape can be used as an instrument of terror.'