#41 stop the raping of women in the Democratic Republic of Congo

8 Jul

After many failed attempts to do a deed today (in that the first five of the deeds I chose all had incorrect/no longer vaild websites), I finally was successful!

Today’s deed was to visit the website www.stoprapeindrc.org; which obviously is very explicit about it’s goal: to stop the rape of  women in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rape is used as a weapon of war to torture and humiliate women and girls in DRC. Survivors often suffer in silence, fearing stigma and ostracism. Additionally, many survivors are left with genital lesions, traumatic fistulae and other physical wounds, as well as unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Local support for survivors is hindered by a lack of resources. DRC has been called the worst humanitarian crisis in the world and the widest interstate war in modern African history. Fueled by the exploitation of the country’s rich natural resources by foreign and local armies and private enterprises, the war has directly affected the lives of 50 million Congolese. Since 1996, this conflict has caused more deaths than any war since World War II, either as a direct result of fighting or from disease and malnutrition. Five million people have lost their lives as a result of the conflict. Hi, just how ridicilious, upsetting, frustrating, sad is that? And what’s even worse? How many people there are who don’t know what’s happening, or the simply don’t care.

So how do we get involved? There are several options: writing a letter, hanging posters, telling friends, hosting events, signing up for the newsletter. I chose to write a letter and tell my friends (all of you readers!). Like some of the other deeds, the letter is already pre-written. It can be downloaded and then mailed to the President of the DRC; it urges him to take efforts in these areas:

  • ensure that there is no impunity for sexual violence
  • ensure that the State armed forces and police do not perpetrate sexual violence against women and girls
  • implement national laws that protect and empower women and girls

My letter is printed, signed, and ready to be mailed tomorrow!  Until then…

“If you want to innovate, … it takes people willing to do what is not expected.”

-Jean Ribould

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