Thursday, April 15, 2010

Meanwhile, in Congo. May TRIGGER.

BBC writes about gang-rapes as a weapon of war:

A report focusing on rape in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo reveals that more than half of the victims were gang-raped by armed men.

For years rape has been used against women in the region but the report reveals the scale of the problem.

More than 4,0000 rape victims were interviewed over a four-year period.

To those horrors must be added three extra ones: First, hospitals treating the damages of the victims number exactly one in the area. Second, women and girls who have been raped feel shame about the rape and face social disapproval in their communities. Third:

There is also evidence of a dramatic increase in the number of rapes carried out by civilians.

The report says back in 2004 1% of rapes were committed by civilians.

Four years later they were responsible for more than a third of these attacks.

The researchers say this proves that the scale of rape during years of war in DR Congo has made this crime seem more acceptable.

Unless, say, total rapes have decreased sharply? If that had happened, the civilian-committed number of rapes may not have risen. But I suspect that total rapes are not down in numbers and that rape has become a "non-crime."

There are times when I think that we should arm women and girls in these war-torn areas. At least then the battle would be fairer.