Charlotte Mertens is a researcher at the University of Melbourne. Her research focuses on sexual violence in conflict settings, particularly in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. She is interested in humanitarian and policy responses to sexual violence, representations of violence, humanitarianism, the sexual politics of empire, colonial history and racial epistemologies. Drawing on archival research, she also works on histories of sexual violence in the Congo Free State, the private domain of Belgian King Leopold II (1885-1908), and the Belgian Congo (1908-1960). She has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in eastern DRC from 2012 onwards. Previously she worked as a research assistant at the Belgian Senate (2004-2007).