The saying goes,"The silence is deafening." No more. A brave filmmaker, herself a victim of gang rape, wanted to share her story with victims in the Congo (DRC). Little was Lisa Jackson prepared for the horrific stories she would capture on camera. Her independent documentary film, "The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo," aired on HBO just last week and I cannot describe how it made me feel. If ever you find yourself complaining about life, think of these women who are so violently brutalized with impunity that they suffer, or die, from unimaginable internal wounds. They become outcasts of society, even rejected by their families. They're all ages, elderly to toddlers.
Imagine not being able to get the most basic of health care; not having a special victims unit staffed and equipped enough to seek and prosecute on your behalf; having to walk a week or more through the jungle, in fear of more attacks, in hope of reaching the one hospital where a doctor cares about you - and for hundreds of other women and young girls. If they don't die from infections or starvation, they may die of HIV/Aids.
I admit that I'm often the one who says we have problems enough here that we need to take care of. We don't care enough for our elderly, for troubled teens, for the homeless. Frankly, our folks have it made in comparison to the women victims of the ongoing war in the Congo. But, without trying to make this a political issue, if you have not yet seen the documentary, I recommend you do. Warning: it's graphic.
Miriam Makeba, FAO Goodwill Ambassador, visits rape survivors http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2008/1000810/index.html
CBS: War Against Women in the Congo http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/01/11/60minutes/main3701249.shtml
What About Our Daughters? http://whataboutourdaughters.blogspot.com/2008/04/greatest-silence-rape-in-congo-airs.html
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