In Congo, 48 Women Raped Every Hour
New survey finds numbers even worse than thought
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2011 2:11 PM CDT
A Congolese woman waits outside a military tribunal prior to the sentencing of 11 soldiers accused of rape in the town of Baraka in February.   (AP Photo/Pete Muller)

(Newser) – Reports of mass rape as a weapon of war have been common in Congo for years, but a new survey shows the problem to be far worse than thought. An estimated 1,152 women are raped every day, or 48 per hour, according to a study to appear in the American Journal of Public Health. That's 26 times higher than a previous UN estimate. "The numbers are astounding," says a Johns Hopkins expert.

In one particularly war-ravaged part of the country, 67 out of every 1,000 women have been raped at least once. By comparison, the annual rate in the US is 0.5 per 1,000. "The message is important and clear: Rape in (Congo) has metastasized amid a climate of impunity, and has emerged as one of the great human crises of our time," says the director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

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May 11, 2011 9:15 PM CDT
Oprah, here's your cue. Go in and create a "girl's school". Use it as a front to teach the women how to use weapons and defense techniques. Arm them to the teeth! After Oprah and her brigade of African Queens conquer the continent it would be renamed Oprafrica. Then Oprah could move her tv network there and watch the ratings soar!
May 11, 2011 7:59 PM CDT
No men in the Congo, the ones that let it happen are as bad as the ones that do it. Is there such a thing as a happy Africa story?
May 11, 2011 7:31 PM CDT
American's love stories that have sex and violence, so rape really get's them going. You could talk about genocide, mass murder, civil war but that is all too boring. They would rather hear about rape. Journalist don't mention how many murders occur each day because they know we could care less. If they murdered all the men in a village and raped the women the headline would be "Women in a Village Raped". I think I heard more about the Mountain Gorillas in the Congo than I have the actual Civil War outside of rape stories. There is something seriously wrong with us if we think rape is worse than murder and a Civil War with millions dead is pretty much ignored.