This week’s Church Times carries a special report compiled by Tim Wyatt on sexual violence in Africa: First the rape. Then the stigma. Now the healing?
“One of the Janjaweed pushed me to the ground. He forced my clothes off, and they raped me, one by one. I did not have any energy or force against them.
“They used me. I started bleeding. It was so painful. I could not stand up… I was sick for seven days.”
This is the harrowing testimony of a 13-year-old girl from western Sudan. It is not an isolated incident. Starting in 2003, the government-backed Janjaweed militia terrorised locals across the region in what appeared to be a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the non-Arab population.
From the beginning, rape was used alongside guns and machetes as a weapon of war…
The main report is available to all, but subscribers can also read the Revd Dr Nyambura Njoroge writing on the gender debate in Africa Teaching men all about women and this leader comment Sexual violence.
The report mentions the efforts of several organisations working with the victims of rape, and who are attempting to change the culture and circumstances that contribute to sexual violence. Here are some relevant websites.