Over 500 Women Raped in the Congo

When news first broke of the mass rape of women and girls in the Congo at the end of the summer we were told that about 150 had been raped.

A little over a week later the number jumped to 240 women and girls.

Today, reports from the U.N. reveal that the number of victims is really over 500  – the youngest being a month-old baby boy and the oldest a woman of 110 years old.

Will it ever end?

TAKE ACTION: Urge UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to ensure the women of the Congo will never be subjected to a tragedy like this again.

The U.N. has admitted to “failing” victims of the Congo (with qualifiers of course) noting that, “While the primary responsibility for protection of civilians lies with the state, its national army and police force, clearly we have also failed. Our actions were not adequate, resulting in unacceptable brutalisation of the population of the villages in the area. We must do better.”

Margot Wallstrom, the woman responsible for UN efforts to combat sexual violence in conflict said the following about this summer’s mass rapes: “It is evident that rape is increasingly selected as the weapon of choice in eastern [Congo], with numbers reaching endemic proportions. The sad reality is that incidents of rape have become so commonplace that they do not trigger our most urgent interventions.”

“…do not trigger our most urgent interventions.” Hundreds of innocent people, from newborns to grandmothers, were (and continue to be) brutally raped – many by more than one man and often in front of family. How does this not trigger “urgent intervention?”

Wallstrom’s attitude (which I’m sure is shared by many) is horrifying, as is the notion that rape in the DRC has become so commonplace it no longer raises alarm. How many more women and children must be viciously violated before “urgent intervention” is taken?

As Amelia points out in her post earlier this week, these peacekeeping missions aren’t doing their job so what will?

I’ll tell you one thing; at the very least a renewed sense of outrage and shock instead of indifference and acceptance at the mass raping of innocent women, children, and babies is desperately needed. These atrocities should fill us with an anger so deep it propels us – all of us – into action.

See what you can do to help the women of the Congo over at V-Day.

Watch Eve Ensler Read her Op-Ed “Congo Cancer: My Cancer Is Arbitrary. Congo’s Atrocities Are Very Deliberate”


Photo by babasteve used under a Creative Commons license.


Maria GOMEZ8 years ago

Do they ever think that the same thing could happen to their mothers, sisters and daughters? What a shame!

Suzan F.
Suzan F8 years ago

I favor giving the women there weapons & teaching them to aim for the nuts when they're attacked.

Oscar N.
Oscar N8 years ago

It is a tool by a government that ignores human rights. Not fazed by the UN, they will terrorize to subjugate the populace. This is also why, throughout history, you read about conquering armies pillaging and raping. As long as there is conflict between countries, cultures and religions, this will always exist to a certain extent. The more developed nations will still do it, albeit to a lesser degree. Even a US soldier was found to have raped and killed a young teenager in Iraq. Sad...as it will always be a tool of war.

Ruth Bruno
Ruth Bruno8 years ago

This is sad!

Ingrid de Jager
Ingrid de Jager8 years ago

It happens all over Africa i`m from south africa and i know what happens there, so yes its nothing new to me , but its still shocking !! and thats why i left with my kids . I pray for all the woman raped. Ps i myself has nearly been raped 3 times but i had luck to get away Thank God

Mari Basque
Mari 's8 years ago

Shocking that so many men resort to this insanity! I feel so sorry for those poor women!!

Cate S.
Cate S8 years ago

Margot Wallstrom is wrong. This shocking disclosur does warrant urgent action.

Erin H.
Erin H8 years ago

Thankyou for informing us on this horrific issue.

Leah Crowell
Leah Crowell8 years ago

I don't think I am really that surprised but I am horribly disgusted. I don't understand how this is allowed. I am at a loss for words, my shock, disgust, and horror that people can do this at all let alone to children and babies is beyond what I can say in words.

Madi Von
Madi Von8 years ago

A one month old? inconceivable, my mind just can't get around that one. What are these creatures called who rape babies? And people say there is a god who is merciful? who are they kidding? what part of the divine plan is this, huh?