More than 1,100 rapes daily in DRCongo: study

May 11, 2011

More than 1,100 women are raped every day in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), making sexual violence against women 26 times more common than previously thought, a study concluded Wednesday.

More than 400,000 women and girls between the ages of 15 to 49 were raped in the vast, war-ravaged country in during a 12-month period in 2006 and 2007, according to the study published in the .

That is 26 times more than the 15,000 women that the has reported were raped there during the same 12 months.

"Our results confirm that previous estimates of rape and are severe underestimates of the true prevalence of sexual violence occurring in the DRC," said Amber Peterman, lead author of the study.

"Even these new, much higher figures still represent a conservative estimate of the true prevalence of sexual violence because of chronic underreporting due to , shame, perceived impunity, and exclusion of younger and older age groups as well as men," she said.

The study, which gathered data from 2007, did not capture sexual violence among girls younger than 15 years or women older than 49 years and did not include sexual violence among boys and men.

"Although the burden of sexual violence among these groups is uncertain, a review of the records of 4,133 women attending Panzi Hospital in Sud Kivu showed that six percent were younger than 16 years and 10 percent were older than 65 years," said the study.

"In addition, Human Rights Watch reported that sexual violence in 2009 doubled in comparison with 2008. If this assessment is accurate, then the current prevalence of sexual violence is likely to be even higher than our estimates suggest."

Commenting on the study, Michael VanRooyen, director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, said that "rape in the DRC has metastasized amid a climate of impunity, and has emerged as one of the great human crises of our time."

Explore further: Uruguay begins registering marijuana growers

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Relationship violence appears common among college students

Jul 07, 2008

Violence between partners, friends and acquaintances appears prevalent both during and before college, according to results of a survey of students at three urban college campuses published in the July issue of Archives of ...

Recommended for you

Influence of migration on health

44 minutes ago

Migration has a significant influence on the health sector, including in Austria. The healthcare sector faces challenges due to migrants' different social status, background and gender, as Christine Binder-Fritz ...

Uruguay begins registering marijuana growers

8 hours ago

Just a handful of people had registered by midday Wednesday to be private growers of marijuana in Uruguay, the first country to fully legalize the production, sale and distribution of the drug.

Tracking spending among the commercially insured

18 hours ago

Recent growth in health care spending for commercially insured individuals is due primarily to increases in prices for medical services, rather than increased use, according to a new study led by researchers at The Dartmouth ...

User comments : 0