The Weapon of Rape

“World leaders fight terrorism all the time, with summit meetings and sound bites and security initiatives. But they have studiously ignored one of the most common and brutal varieties of terrorism in the world today.”
-Nicholas Kristof, Common Dreams-

Read the rest of Kristof’s article “The Weapon of Rape,” which explores how rape has been used as a weapon in Serbia, Darfur, and the Congo and the international community’s lack of response thus far.

An excerpt:

“The rape capital of the world is eastern Congo, where in some areas three-quarters of women have been raped. Sometimes the rapes are conducted with pointed sticks that leave the victims incontinent from internal injuries. A former UN force commander there, Patrick Cammaert, says it is ‘more dangerous to be a woman than to be a soldier.’

The international community’s response so far? Approximately: ‘Not our problem.’

Yet such rapes also complicate post-conflict recovery, with sexual violence lingering even after peace has been restored. In Liberia, the civil war is over but rape is still epidemic.

Painfully slowly, the United Nations and its member states seem to be recognizing the fact that systematic mass rape is at least as much an international outrage as, say, pirated DVDs. Yet China and Russia are resisting any new reporting mechanism for sexual violence, seeing such rapes as tragic but simply a criminal matter.”
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