Gang Rape Used as Weapon of War in Democratic Republic of the Congo
March 6, 2008
The use of rape as a weapon of war and the women who survive it are explored in the award-winning documentary "Lumo." The film's namesake suffered internal injuries after a gang rape by Hutu militia men who left her for dead during the Democratic Republic of the Congo's (DRC's) civil war.
Nearly every woman gang-raped by a militia has an STD, Lusi said. Heal Africa has treated 11,700 women for STDs in the past four years, and one in five had been gang-raped or tortured and one in 10 had a rip in the vaginal wall.
For years, the DRC's civil war was largely ignored internationally. But in January, a ceasefire between nine militias and the government was signed, and now a UN peacekeeping force of 17,000 is being deployed.
Lusi hopes the documentary helps rally support from the outside world. Seeing "Lumo" helps "raise awareness of the Congo situation," she said. "It can't be solved from inside the country." She also encouraged people to write their representatives to ask them to support the peace process.
Sydney Morning Herald
03.03.2008; Connie Levett
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This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.