Rapes Total In Millions In Congo, Study Finds

August 1, 2011 • Africa, Daily Email Recap

From the New York Times.  See http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/12/world/africa/12congo.html for links to the original study.

Rapes Total In Millions In Congo, Study Finds

Date: Thursday, May 12, 2011
Source: The New York Times
Author: Jeffrey Gettleman

A new study in The American Journal of Public Health, expected to be published Thursday online, estimates that nearly two million women have been raped in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with women victimized at a rate of nearly one every minute.

The study, one of the first comprehensive looks at the prevalence of rape in Congo, indicates that the problem is much bigger and more pervasive than previously thought. Women have reported alarming levels of sexual abuse in the capital and in provinces far from Congo’s war-torn east, a sign that the problem extends beyond the nation’s primary conflict zone.

‘Not only is sexual violence more generalized,’ the study said, ‘but our findings suggest that future policies and programs should focus on abuse within families.’

For the past 15 years, Congo has been racked by myriad rebel groups that terrorize civilians, particularly in the east, often to exploit the country’s mineral riches or to flaunt their abusive power. United Nations officials have called Congo the epicenter of rape as a weapon of war, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited rape victims in eastern Congo in 2009 in an effort to draw more attention to one of Africa’s most intractable and disturbing conflicts.

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/12/world/africa/12congo.html?_r=1

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