Male Rape Victims In The Congo Speak Out

*Trigger warning*

Amid all the disturbing news about mass rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it’s important to remember that although many of the survivors we hear about are female, men are also subject to sexual violence, and there are greater taboos when men speak out. 

In a video from the BBC that you should only watch if you’re ready to hear graphic descriptions of the horrific assaults that happen every day in the DRC, a male rape victim describes his attack.  It’s a sobering reminder that sexual assault can happen to anyone, especially in places like war-torn Congo, and also emphasizes the need to destigmatize homosexuality so that more men can get help after being raped.

In a New York Times article from last summer, the American Bar Association, which runs a sexual violence legal clinic in Goma, DRC, estimated that 10 percent of their cases were men.  And men who need medical attention sometimes die because they are too humiliated to seek help.  According to a recent study, a staggering 24% of men and 39% of women have been estimated to have been raped in the Congo, while many more cases go unreported.

“They have robbed me of my humanity.  We have lost everything,” the man in the video explains.  “Even my wife no longer respects me since I have been raped.  She thinks I have been contaminated.”

Photo from Flickr.

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Lina Hogg
Lina Hogg4 years ago

Here is an article written in The Observer (UK) on 17th July 2011

It makes horrific reading. Does anybody know of organisations that help male victims of war?

Zee Kallah
.4 years ago

And children

Ameer T.
Ameer T.4 years ago

Well......How now brown cow?

Ameer T.
Ameer T.4 years ago

Why isn't America, who is the policeman of the world, going into the congo and change the regime and institue a democracy there. It has gone after Mubarik, it is going after Gaddafi, it went after Osama so why not here? And i am not even mentioning the fact that US itself is guilty of selling weapons to the congo.

Whats the UN doing there for so long? Oh yea it was gathering statistics and interviewing the vistims. The UN is being blamed for shooting civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan why is it standing around and watching these young girls raped and killed? And you probably haven't heard because it hasn't been posted to care2, The same is going on in Indian Occupied Kashmir. India has about 700,000 militia posted there and rape is just a past time with those soldiers too. Incidently the Kashmir issue is the oldest unresolved issue on the UN table to date. Again why isn't the UN adressing older issues of war crimes, crimes against humanity etc. and taking on new issues of wars against terrorism?

I wonder why the world focuses so much on one part and neglects the others completly? are these rapists and gun weilding kids not a form of terrorist? Or do you still have some closed, secret definations of terrorists as people who only attack America.

Ameer T.
Ameer T.4 years ago

I ask you.......should one blame just the rapists or also those who stood around and watched it/ allowed it to happen?

why isn't the UN doing something about it? why aren't other ABLE nations of the world doing anything about it?

Why were 3 Trillion dollars spent on useless wars on Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan looking for one man while many human beings suffered under the yoke of a different kind of terrorism elsewhere?

Where are the human rights organisations and women's rights organisations?

Wanda Walker
Wanda Walker4 years ago

I signed. my heart goes out to all the people in the Congo.I am so thankful for Care 2 that i can do something from my living room here in Arkansas.

linda b.
linda b.4 years ago

No women, man, boy or girl is immune to rape and all who commit such evil should be put in prison for life.

alicia m.
alicia m.4 years ago

please sign petition, gracias

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle4 years ago

Rape is an instrument of power. I am sorry for the men who feel humiliated -- I know it has changed their lives. Women have had to endure this humiliation since time began. But we are only women. To have someone stronger than you, force themselves upon you, and you cannot stop them, is the invasion of your very soul. I know what surgery I would perform on these rapists -- thank you, Ms. Bobbitt.

Joy Jin
Joy Jin4 years ago

It's not just the women who suffer, it's the men 2.