Victimized: Zaina Niangoma, 46, was raped by three members of the Hutu rebel group and Congolese Mai-Mai militia that attacked her village in July.

*(Via TheMonitor) All the way from North to Southern Africa rapists prowl the continent’s fields for their next victims. And it is of course women who bear the deepest scars from Africa’s wars. Writes Samantha Spooner:-

The statistics out of the continent have never been more appalling. From Cairo to Cape, the continent’s daughters continue to face gruesome sexual attacks from their male peers.

This year Africa provided the setting for two shocking mass rape incidents in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In July and August, 242 rape incidents were reported in and around a village called Luvungi, although that figure is now believed to be closer to 500.

Again, the UN has recently announced that throughout September and October, an estimated 600 individuals had been raped along the Congo-Angola border. These figures are a dreadful reminder of the ways in which women’s bodies have been used as another battleground, and rape a weapon of terror.

Forcing someone to have sexual intercourse with you classifies the act as rape. And rape is an act with many classifications in Africa. As demonstrated, it is one of the most widely used acts of terror, and it has also been used as a path to ‘cure’ HIV or support other beliefs. It is also a form of domestic violence.

Global challenge
It is not confined to Africa – those who rape out of sexual desire, sadism and as a means of control cannot be restricted by geography, race or class. Womankind Worldwide, a UK-based charity, estimates that one in five women globally will become a victim of rape, or attempted rape, in her lifetime. What is of note, however, is that rape is prevalent in conflict and situations of socio-economic instability, making it an increasingly common occurrence in Africa.

According to Interpol, South Africa has the highest number of declared rapes in the world, with nearly half of the victims younger than 18. Gang rapes are also common in the country, and the crime is said to be a form of ‘male bonding’ between teens.

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