There are so many ugly things going on the world today that many important stories go untold, I guess this is the price we pay for living in this wired world. Iraq and Afghanistan get lots of press, but there are disasters happening elsewhere that are every bit as newsworthy.

The Congo (a country the size of Western Europe) has been a tinderbox for a decade. The UN has over 17,000 peace keepers in the Congo, but that is like having one small can of Deet to control the mosquito population, and thus eradicate Malaria!

“Rape is a weapon war” film maker Lisa F. Jackson tells us. And the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the best example of this sick phenomena. Lisa herself was the victim of a gang rape in one of the ‘better’ neighborhoods of Washington DC.

Maybe it was her own experiences that are her driving force, or maybe it is just the quest for truth, either way Lisa Jackson has produced a very disturbing work in The Greatest Silence.

The women involved not only have to face the physical and mental challenges of being raped, but the cultural aspects of Congolese society now tag the poor victim as untouchable. Husbands walk away, their wives are now ‘damaged goods’.  It is not just women of marriage age that suffer though, Lisa Jackson provides evidence of girls as young as 2, and women as old as 80 that have become victims in this war.

I found this documentary to be profoundly disturbing. Rape is a weapon of war. A weapon that is used with impunity in the Congo. You can catch The Greatest Silence – Rape In The Congo on HBO Tuesday March 8 at 10pm. Make sure that you have a strong stomach though, while the video is relatively harmless, the commentary will break your heart.

Simon Barrett

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