Rapes Shatter Congo Women

27,000 attacks in a single province intended to 'destroy women'
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Oct 7, 2007 1:20 PM CDT
In this undated photo released by V-Day, Dr. Denis Mukwege, center, of the Panzi General Hospital in the city of Bukavu, in eastern Congo is shown surrounded by a number of women and children. The hospital...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A record number of brutal rapes has devastated the women of war-ravaged Congo. A single province reported 27,000 last year, with some assaults so brutal that victims' reproductive systems will never recover, the New York Times reports. "We don’t know why these rapes are happening, but one thing is clear: they are done to destroy women," said a doctor who sees 10 victims daily.

Sexual violence in the Congo is “the worst in the world,” said a UN official. “The sheer numbers, the wholesale brutality—it’s appalling.” Last year's elections were not enough to help the Congolese government deal with renegade forces. Large areas of lawlessness survive where the most heavily armed are free to do what they please.