A new study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that women in the Democratic Republic of Congo are raped at a rate 26 times higher than the rate previously reported by the United Nations (UN).

At last count, the UN reported that 16,000 rapes occurred each year in Congo, however, according to Ms. Magazine, the numbers are shockingly much higher.

Ms. Magazine reports:

“The national study, conducted by Amber Peterman of the International Food Policy Research Institute, Tia Palermo of Stony Brook University and Caryn Bredenkamp of the World Bank, found that approximately 400,000 women were raped between 2006 and 2007. This amounts to roughly 48 women raped per hour.”

Why such a large discrepancy in the numbers? According to Margot Wallstrom, Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, the UN is only allowed to report cases of rape the organization is able to verify, which leaves the rapes of many women to fall beneath the cracks.

While the difference in numbers is overwhelming, many aren’t surprised. The United Nations named The Democratic Republic of Congo the “rape capital of the world” because of the alarming numbers of women who have been victimized since war broke out in the country in 1998.

Although many groups work to not only help rape victims in Congo, but also change the rape culture that has seemed to permeate the country, the UN has been very critical of the Congolese government for its police and military’s inability to protect its women.

How can you help? Check out WomenforWomen.org to find out how take a stand against violence and support women in DR Congo

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  • BluTopaz

    While JustSaying’s comments are extreme, but while we are on the subject of mass rape let’s also talk about Haiti and New Orleans.

    There is now an entire generation of babies born as the result of mass rapes after the earthquake in Haiti. Prepare yourself to read about a 2 year old who was gang raped.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/03/17/world/main6306562.shtml

    Same for women and girls survivors of Katrina: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5063796

    The worst natural disasters to hit this hemisphere, folks trying to survive the day and these savages are out raping women and babies. Unless there is a mass media coverup, I didn’t read about this level of insanity during the Japan aftermath, nor the tsunami. It does beg the question, why does it happen in Black countries-in other words, with so many Black males? We need to stop tip toeing around this shit, because best believe if it was Black men being victimized like this we’d hear about it constantly.

    • JustSaying…

      Exactly right….I’m waiting for someone to dispute what I actually said here. I’ll wait….

    • BluTopaz

      While I don’t agree with any implication that all Black men are rapists (the men in my family aren’t), the issue of these tragedies against Black women and girls needs to be discussed with men at the table as well. Black women are always having these convos with either 2 camps: women defending men unconditionally or women who have been abused who don’t exactly feel like protecting an entire race of men, who admittedly, all become targeted as beasts. I was floored when I read this news about Haitian rape survivors, esp. when the biggest news about Haiti last year was billygoat Wyclef thinking about running for president.

      But where does the respect for women start? I was on another site where the convo was also about Congo tragedies noted here, and one of the male posters (with a half naked video hoochie as his signature) lamented how he’s tired of hearing about ‘all the bad stuff about Africa’. And many of the other male commenters chimed in to follow suit with ‘well that’s messed up and all but why we always have to show brothers in a bad light blah blah.’

      I’m beyond tired of this protect all Black men at all costs to our bodies/lives enabling shit. There needs to be discussion with both Black women AND men about why this happens, nevermind worrying about niagras who refuse to date Black women. Much thanks to the author of this article and the womenforwomen.org link. For less than a coffee a day I can help out the slightest bit-wish I had resources to do a lot more.

    • lynette

      *sigh*…sadly I was thinking this same thing this weekend when I read of the massive rapes in the Congo. Generally, they appear to be by black men against black women. I love black men so that’s why I can’t understand where all the anger is coming from. When you feel the need to rape a woman, what type of pleasure does this bring. Then I started thinking about the anger in black men (NOT ALL!) that they would do such a thing. As was mentioned, here in the states it’s like the same thing….if a snowstorm hits one of the inner cities, they have to send in the National Reserve because the police can’t get to the neighborhoods. In other words, basically so we won’t get killed by our own people and/or raped by our men. It’s just so sad. I realize white men and women can be just as bad but why does it always seem like it’s by us and against us…*double sigh*

    • JustSaying…

      BluTopaz,

      Black men have proven that they don’t give a damn about black women. So don’t hold your breath about this conversation actually happening with them. Black women need to look out for themselves and in my mind that means avoiding black men period.

    • BluTopaz

      JustSaying–sadly I think you are right. It does not affect them directly so it’s not a concern.

      It breaks my heart to see groups of Congolese women marching for their rights to exist without being sodomized with rifles and if they don’t die, have to have their insides sewn up, or to read that outsiders have to step in to make sure Haitian women and girls can eat and drink water in peace. An entire GENERATION of Haitian babies born out of rape is a gotdamn outrage, and the article said there was a major sexual assault problem before the earthquake. I wish somebody would explain the collective mindset of demons who commit evil acts like this against the women in their own race.

  • Nina

    Just wow @ JustSaying and BluTopaz. For all our all sakes I hope you two are white women and have absolutely no biological link to the black race. I’m just so shocked and amazed that anyone could swing waaaay out there in left field and spew such hatred for an entire race. Because that’s exactly what you’re doing when you suggest black women take part in our own extinction by letting black men “self-destruct.” Please, for our sake, take your own advice. Do not procreate with black men, do not raise black sons, do not even open your mouths to discuss issues concerning African people because your words aren’t helpful and our situation doesn’t need further backwardness.