Congo girls dating

High rates of sexual violence in the country are undeniable.

However, there are some who believe that the international attention on the narrative of rape against women in the eastern region overshadows other issues that deserve attention as well, namely, sexual violence against men and boys.

According to Denise Siwatula, a programme officer at the Women’s Synergy for the Victims of Sexual Violence based in Kivu, many men are victims of sexual violence and they need different assistance than women who come to their center.

Lynn Lawry, a humanitarian expert at the International Health Division of the US Department of Defense, said, "When we are looking at how we are going to address communities, we need to talk to female perpetrators as well as male perpetrators, and we have to include male survivors in our mental health clinics in order to address their issues, which may be very different from female survivors." UNFPA reported that over 65% of victims during the past 15 years were children.

This influx of militants and fighting in Burundi catalyzed the First Congo War and the end of Mobutu's regime.

Spurred by the violence, the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (AFDL), led by Laurent Kabila, launched a rebellion against Mobutu regime in 1995 in the eastern part of the country.

Human Rights Watch defines sexual violence as "an act of a sexual nature by force, or by threat of force or coercion," and rape as "a form of sexual violence during which the body of a person is invaded, resulting in penetration, however slight, of any part of the body of the victim, with a sexual organ, or of the anal or genital opening of the victim with any object or other part of the body." The Democratic Republic of the Congo has had a long history of unrest and instability.Other factors of the continued violence are control of land, control of minerals, and economic tensions.The persistence of rape can also be attributed to misconceptions about rape, such as the myth that having sex with prepubescent girls will give people strength in battle or business dealings.According to research conducted by The Journal of the American Medical Association in 2010, 39.7% of women in the Eastern Region (North Kivu, South Kivu, and Province Orientale) of the DRC reported to have been exposed to sexual violence during their lifetime, most commonly taking its form in rape.This statement reflects the normalization of rape in the DRC.

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