There is an online movement happening to raise awareness and action to end the systematic rape of women and girls. While we seek to end all rape, the main focus of this movement is to end the rape of the majority of females in the war-torn countries of Liberia and the Congo, where rape was used as a tactic of war. As Dr. Denis Mukwege explains, in a column penned by Bob Herbert :
Women and girls are being sexually mutilated: raped so severely they will never bear children, cannot walk for months, have permanent incontinence. Some have been raped to death. And those are just the physical scars. It began as a tactic of war, and continues long after the wars have ended. It is estimated that in Eastern Congo, 1,100 women are raped a month. One thousand one hundred. In some regions, it is rare to find a female who has not been raped.
“Once they have raped these women in such a public way,” he said, “sometimes maiming them, destroying their sexual organs — and with everybody watching — the women themselves are destroyed, or virtually destroyed. They are traumatized and humiliated on every level, physical and psychological. That’s the first consequence.
“The second consequence is that the whole family and the entire neighborhood is traumatized by what they have seen. The ordinary sense of family and community is lost after a man has been forced to watch his wife being raped, or parents are forced to watch the rape of their daughters, or children see their mothers raped.“Neighbors are witnesses to this. Many flee. Families are dislocated. Social relationships are lost. There is no more social network, village network. Not only the victims have been destroyed; the whole village is destroyed.”
What You Can Do
- Silence is the Enemy
- After Wars, Mass Rapes Persist
- War on Women in Congo
- The Invisible War
- Women Left for Dead
- Shattered Lives
- Sexual Violence
- Join the Facebook Group
- Visit these blogs; they are donating revenue to Doctors Without Borders and income is determined by blog traffic. Every click helps.
- Donate. I am. (A good list of organizations to donate through is here.)
- Speak out: Counter rape myths, link to the blogring, make a note on your facebook page, write to your congressional representatives
- I read that there is a Twitter feed for the event as well. I don't Tweet, as a rule, but the tag is #silencehurts