Final Paper.docx - 1 Running Head SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST...

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1 Running Head: SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST DRC WOMEN Sexual Based Violence Against Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo Lesley M. Castineiras Florida International University Dr. Michaela Moura-Koçoğlu WST 3015 6 December 2018
SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST DRC WOMEN Sexual Based Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo To begin with, sexual based violence affects women globally, not just in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in fact, approximately “35 percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner, not including sexual harassment, at some point in their lives.” (World Health Organization, et al., 2013). Furthermore, the Democratic Republic of Congo has been dubbed numerous times as the most dangerous place on Earth for women to live in, in terms of Sexual Violence, primarily due to their high risk factor of being, or becoming, a victim to such sexual-based violence in that country. The women in the Democratic Republic of Congo don’t simply face sexual violence alone, they face sexual violence conducted with extreme violence, where they may be forced to strip naked, sometimes publicly, and proceed to be raped, sometimes gang-raped, by men distinguishing soldiers. The male perpetrators of these atrocities consider women as animals, call them dogs and rape them with utter brutality. They would rape multiple women in a day, mutilate many of them, and even murder a woman a day by slicing her throat, and then “ordered the survivors to drink the blood of the murdered woman while they had to wait in agonizing trauma to discover who the next victim of this slaughter would be.” (Zihindula, B. M., Makhubele, J., & Muthuki, J., 2018). These rapes are so brutal and systematic that U.N. investigators have called them unprecedented. Additionally, it’s not the rape alone that these women are faced with, but many of these victims become infected with HIV, or other serious medical complications, and are left to look after children, that may have been created as a result of such rape, alone. In continuation, analyzing the socio-cultural, political, and economic factors within Congo 2
SEXUAL VIOLENCE AGAINST DRC WOMEN is crucial to understanding the what may be shaping and allowing such violence, as well as, how these women are left living following such brutal attacks. Moreover, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a large country trapped in a system of lawlessness and destruction. For over two decades, now, there’s been a huge conflict involving over 8,000 armed soldiers regarding the fight for the control of diamond and mineral mines, specifically in the east of the country, and despite such objective, women remain being the main victims of this conflict. In fact, the majority of women in the DRC who are victims of sexual-based violence, has not been as a result of domestic rape or rape by a stranger, but rather, the majority, have been a victim of rape as a weapon of war. For years on end now, the political system has time and time

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