n Conflict Trends - Understanding rape in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Volume 2011, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


According to most sources, 5.5 million people have died since the beginning of the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 1994, and rape is used as a weapon of destruction. More than 15 000 rapes were reported in the DRC in the last year - accounts of these rapes include descriptions of horrific acts, such as mutilation and the killing of unborn children. The sexual violence is so severe in the DRC that some have described rape in the country as the worst in the world. To understand the reasons for the brutal violence against women, it is necessary to look at the DRC's historical, political, social and environmental contexts, as well as social psychological processes. Many have examined the economic, political and environmental processes that cause and perpetuate the rapes, but little psychological research has been conducted.

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