Monday, January 21, 2008

rape -- congo

Nearly ten years ago the genocide in Rwanda spread to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Now, there are more deaths in Congo than in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Darfur combined. It is the deadliest time in history since World War II. Much of this has spread to women, what 60 Minutes has termed "the war against women."

In some villages up to 90% of the women have been raped. Most of them are gang raped, some of them children, only 3 years old and others as old as 75. The UN has created shelters, protective camps for the women, but even there some of them are raped.

In one case, a 24-year-old women was raped and the gang that did it made her brother hold the flashlight for them. After they were through they tried to get him to do the same. Her brother refused so the gang stabbed him to death right in front of her. She was then taken from her children to their camp where they raped her everyday for 8 months. Eventually she was able to get away. But, when she returned home, her husband abandoned her and she found out the she was pregnant. She ended up naming her child Luck, for the hope that she has.

Wives are often left after they are raped because of their husband's shame. Some say that the men feel humiliated because they were unable to do anything, unable to protect their wives, not because their wife was raped.

In addition to now being a single parent, the women are often shunned by their village because of the fear that they have contracted HIV. The women are also publicly humiliated since they are often raped in front of others. Even with all this happening, officials in Congo aren't doing much if anything about it. It is said that a $10 bribe may get them to investigate.

But, there are thankfully groups like Women for Women who help the women who have been shunned and abandoned. They teach the women skills to get by in life. they are often taught to cook and even to read and write.

To watch the full 60 Minutes story click here.

1 comment:

Tanabe said...

Wow... It's... wow. Awful. It's amazing how much hope and strength that woman - no, those women have.

You have a really good sense of what's important news, by the way. I seem to learn all my current events from you. I'll watch that report right now.