More Than 1,100 Women Raped Every Day In The Congo, Study Finds

More than 1,100 women are raped every day in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to a study published on Tuesday in the June issue of the American Journal of Public Health, Agence France-Presse reports. Through extrapolation based on data collected from more than 3,400 Congolese women in 2007, researchers determined that more than 400,000 women between the ages of 15 and 49 were raped in a 12-month period between 2006 and 2007, a number 26 times higher than U.N. estimates (5/11).

A U.N. official working in the DRC expressed doubt over the findings, saying the sample group was too small, local and cultural factors were not considered, and five-year old data are not relevant to the current situation, Reuters writes (Hogg 5/11). The U.N. recorded 15,300 cases of reported rapes in 2008 and 2009, according to The Daily Beast (Shapiro, 5/11). The New York Times adds that U.N. officials “have called Congo the epicenter of rape as a weapon of war, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited rape victims in eastern Congo in 2009 in an effort to draw more attention to one of Africa’s most intractable and disturbing conflicts” (Gettleman, 5/11).

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