World Citizen: Pushing Back Against Rape as a Weapon of War

World Citizen: Pushing Back Against Rape as a Weapon of War

Some of the most distressing aspects of human behavior have endured stubbornly throughout history. To name just one example, human beings continue to inflict unspeakable horrors on other human beings in the course of combat. It is, indeed, a well-established fact that war is hell. But there is one feature of warfare, well-documented and generally accepted as unavoidable since biblical times, that is now coming under increasing scrutiny and facing a well-organized pushback: the use of rape as a weapon of war.

As David Axe just reported for WPR from Congo, a growing number of organizations are now focusing their efforts on helping victims of rape carried out by that country's armed groups and even its army. But Congo is just one battleground, if a prominent one, where sexual violence has been widely used. Around the world, the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of women who have endured rape during wars are now telling their stories and taking action with the help of legal specialists and women's rights groups.

The notion that rape inevitably accompanies armed conflict and war went unchallenged for thousands of years. The "spoils of war" always seemed to include "raping and pillaging." History's all-time best seller, the Bible, is full of stories of such rape. And across the centuries, mass rape was almost always a major feature of war, even if it usually did not receive much attention in the historical records.

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