December 04, 2006

African Rape

The Umpire has already alerted the Blogosphere to one set of almost forgotten but still continuing atrocities in Tibet. The phenomenen documented below though is possibly more obscure than Tibet, yet its extent may be just as bad or even worse.

This is a disturbing report from Salon about rape in Africa. Its not a story that you come across often- but it does strike me that its worth airing- especially as I would expect that much of this is sex without condoms and much of it seems to be underage sex. The difficulty of gathering statistics especially in rural countries blighted by civil war like the Congo or Angola makes data unreliable. Given the statistics cited here for South Africa- I'd fear to know what the rate was in the Congo for instance. This is a truly sobering moment- one that Marcella Chester and her bloggers about sexual violence would probably know more about than I. Read the story.

LATER Typically Marcella got there before me on this- she reports a figure of a quarter of a million rapes in the Congo over the last four years, some of which resulted not merely in the terrible aftereffects of the rape but also in (presumably vaginal or anal) fistulas (defined medically as the abnormal passage between organs that don't connect normally.) Words fail me to express the horror both of Marcella's report, of the New York Times report, of the Newsweek report and the Salon report (follow the links from Salon and Marcella to get to the Newsweek and NYT articles), upon which this article is based.

I can't express enough with words to describe this continuing calamity.

6 comments:

Political Umpire said...

Great post on a hideous subject. Many thanks of course for the link. As ever, the internet gives us the possibility of drawing attention to unfashionable disasters the mainstream media doesn't like to be troubled with.

Gracchi said...

I agree with you Umpire- I was sickened, still am by this story. It fits with your Tibet one as well- but I can't think about the damage this does to those women and all that know them. I can't imagine the impact either psychological or physical particularly in countries where health care services are primitive.

Ellee said...

It's shocking, and issues like this were discussed at the Conservative Women's Organisations conference last week. I've put my name forward to be a mission observer and help women in disadvantaged countries like this.

Gracchi said...

Ellee thanks for your comment it is shocking and I admire you for doing something or putting your name forward to do something. If they need any more help- though often having a man around isn't the best thing in these circumstances do tell. There isn't much I can add to what I've said already- its one of those statistics that's so terrible that its almost unimaginable- that that quantity of people have suffered in that horrendous a way is something that you can't even comprehend on any normal human level. Lets hope the Congo in particular acheives stability because after that at least some of the situation you would think might improve.

james higham said...

One small part of this is the Janjaweed rapes in villages which are then burnt down. These were caught in a series of children's drawings, some of which I posted earlier. The situation is diabolical.

Gracchi said...

It is. In the East the janjaweed, in the West the Congo. Neither are pleasant and both are under reported.