11-Month Old Rape Victim In Congo Dies

Jarrett

You read that right. The BBC reported yesterday that an 11-month old rape victim has died in the Democratic Republic of Congo. One might want, as I wanted, to file this incident under "aberration," but unfortunately the rape of very young girls, including babies, has been a part of the rape campaign in the Congo for years now, according to the 2004 article, Silence=Rape, published in The Nation:Trevor Lowe, spokesperson for the UN World Food Program (said), "The nature of sexual violence in the DRC conflict is grotesque, completely abnormal," he says. "Babies, children, women--nobody is being spared. For every woman speaking out, there are hundreds who've not yet emerged from the hell. Rape is so stigmatized in the DRC, and people are afraid of reprisals from rebels. It's a complete and utter breakdown of norms. Like Rwanda, only worse." Adds his colleague Christiane Berthiaume, "Never before have we found as many victims of rape in conflict situations as we are discovering in the DRC." American coverage of what is going on in the Congo has been pathetic. The New York Times published an excellent, thorough (albeit severely tardy) report a few months back about the Congo's vortex of brutal sexual violence in which "women are being systematically attacked on a scale never before seen (there)." The gruesome, sickening stories in that one were hard to bear. But this has been years in the making and the Red Cross says the violence right now is worse than it's been in the last 7 years. Nothing is being done, nothing has been done, and you'd be hard pressed to find any American official even mentioning this outrage against women and children in the Congo.More from the Nation article: "People denounce the rapes but do nothing to bring the rebels to justice… There isn't the political will, domestically or internationally, to make it happen. I've never seen anything like this, when war has become this horrible, and human life so undervalued." What can you do?Write to or call your elected officials. Demand they publicly address these atrocities post-haste. In fact, ask them why they haven't done anything about this and email me when you've done it. Let me know what they say. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) //= 0; i=i-1){ if (l.substring(0, 1) == ' ') output += "&#"+unescape(l.substring(1))+";"; else output += unescape(l); } document.getElementById('eeEncEmail_jasrjmYtsX').innerHTML = output; //]]> . I'll cull the responses and enter 'em on here. Don't know who they are? Go here to find out.Consider the violent human history behind the production of your cell phone.Visit the websites for Human Rights Watch, Doctors Without Borders, and the International Committee of the Red Cross to learn more about what you can do. Also, give these orgs. money specifically allocated towards their work to aid the victims of these crimes and towards their work to prevent future crimes.We're not allowed to wait for the movie starring Don Cheadle to come out in ten years to start thinking about this. In a world this instant, this interconnected there is no such thing as "who could have known?"

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