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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Over 1,000 Rapes in Congo Everyday

More than 1,100 women are raped every day in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), making sexual violence against women 26 times more common than previously thought, a study concluded Wednesday. More than 400,000 women and girls between the ages of 15 to 49 were raped in DRC during a 12-month period in the years 2006 and 2007, according to the study published in the American Journal of Public Health. 

Now that is 26 times more than the 15,000 women that the United Nations has reported were raped there during the same 12 months. Researchers who have done the study have indicated that the much higher figures still represent a conservative estimate of the true prevalence of sexual violence because of underreporting of cases due to stigma, shame, apparent impunity and exclusion of younger and older age groups as well as men.
The study, which gathered data from the year 2007, did not capture sexual violence among girls younger than 15 years or women older than 49 years and did not include sexual violence among boys and men. The study continues to say that "Although the burden of sexual violence among these groups is uncertain, a review of the records of 4,133 women attending Panzi Hospital in South Kivu showed that six percent were younger than 16 years and 10 percent were older   than 65 years.

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