Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

April-03-08

Senate Committee Hearing on Rape as a Weapon of War

On Tuesday, United States Senator Dick Durbin chaired the first-ever Congressional hearing on the use of rape as a weapon of war. The Subcommittee on Human Rights and Law discussed the need to hold perpetrators accountable for sexual violence against women. The focus of the hearing was sexual violence as a weapon of war in Democratic Republic of the Congo, with testimonies from Lisa F. Jackson, Karin Wachter, Dr. Kelly Dawn Askin, and Dr. Denis Mukwege.

Senator Durbin convened the hearing by stating his disappointment with the U.S. failure to take action on the issue. He said, "I'm sorry to say that if a foreign warlord who is engaged in mass rape found his way to the US today, he'd likely be beyond the reach of our laws. That is shameful. If we fail to close these loopholes, we will allow these crimes to continue with impunity."

During the hearing, scenes from the documentary The Greatest Silence: Rape in Congo were shown. Lisa F. Jackson, the director of the documentary, testified on the lack of attention and stigma that is attached to rape as an act of war.

She asked, "Why has the world been so silent? Why in the last 10 years, has there been only ONE front-page story in the New York Times about the epidemic of sexual violence that is devastating the Congo? Why is it that rape in conflict is so infrequently prosecuted in the world’s courts? Where is the outrage?"

Congolese Dr. Denis Mukwege described to the Senate Subcommittee the sexual terrorism that women in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo have faced for over 10 years. Dr. Mukwege said, "This type of sexual terrorism is done in a methodical manner by armed groups. The rapists are not seeking to satisfy some kind of sexual desire, but to destroy her family and destroy her community."

Media Resources: Senate Judiciary Committee 04/01/08; The Greatest Silence


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

8/27/2014 White House Releases New Rules Governing Birth Control Mandate - Tthe White House released new health insurance rules Friday for nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses to comply with the Supreme Court's ruling in Burwell v. . . .
 
8/27/2014 Study Highlights Disparities in Well-Being for Girls in Southern States - A recent report by the Girl Scouts Research Institute shows that the Midwest, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic are the best regions of the United States to raise girls, while the South - specifically Mississippi, Arkansas, and Georgia - is the worst. The findings were based on 23 indicators of education, extracurricular activities, emotional health, physical health, safety and economic well-being. . . .
 
8/27/2014 California Legislature Votes to Restrict Sterilization of Prison Inmates - Both the California Senate and assembly unanimously passed a bill last week significantly restricting the sterilization of state prison inmates. SB1135 bans the practice of sterilization with a few exceptions, including if the person's life is in danger or sterilization is medically necessary to treat a diagnosed condition. . . .