“A needed controversy over sexualized violence in Democratic Republic of Congo”

From Women’s Media Center’s Women Under Siege

By Lee Ann De Reus/Guest Blogger — April 23, 2013

 “… The level of mass atrocities occurring in DRC is undisputedly catastrophic. At Panzi Hospital, a general referral hospital run by Dr. Denis Mukwege and with which I conduct research and fundraising, 19,270 survivors of sexualized violence were treated from 1999-2012. These are some numbers we know. While Heaton and IMC may disagree on Luvungi particulars, the unifying fact is that sexualized violence, like many problems in Congo, is a symptom at the intersection of failed economic, social, and political structures. Yet persistent oversimplifications by media, aid agencies, development organizations, advocacy groups, academics, and other well-meaning parties distort the world’s perceptions of DRC. The result is an ineffective response to violence that only applies a band-aid to human suffering and stifles Congolese self-determination. In order to break this cycle, we have to better understand and address the atrocities and their root causes. And, as with other conflict-ridden regions, we can’t assume we know better than the country’s own population…”

To read the article, visit womenundersiegeproject.com