The actual state of sexualized violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The actual state of sexualized violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo is unambiguously a terrible place for women. Following a reporting trip to the country, Lauren Wolfe wonders whether sexualized violence against women there has gotten any better in recent years. While she expected to hear more about how impunity still reigns and not much has changed, what she found surprised her. Photo by Lauren Wolfe. Read More »

The color of lawlessness: Sexual abuse by police, nationwide

The color of lawlessness: Sexual abuse by police, nationwide

In November, The Associated Press published a story that found that 1,000 police officers across the country had lost their licenses over six years for sexual crimes, including rape, sodomy, and sexual misconduct. In a story recounting her own experiences, Chagmion Antoine discusses sexual abuse by police all around the country. Photo by Johnny Silvercloud. Read More »

‘There’s no news hook’ Q&A with a journalist covering rape in South Sudan

‘There’s no news hook’ Q&A with a journalist covering rape in South Sudan

A few years after South Sudan voted to become its own country, fighting has swallowed the nation. The scale of sexualized violence in the country has been described by the UN as “shocking.” Here, we speak to journalist Amanda Sperber who reported in January and February from a village called Nyal, where she tried to find women willing to speak to her about rape. At left, women in Nyal carry food handouts. Photo by UNMISS. Read More »

How to build a rape case

How to build a rape case

When former Canadian radio host Jian Ghomeshi was acquitted of all charges in a sexual assault trial in March, the judge’s verdict suggested that willful deception on the part of the plaintiffs was to blame. The trial highlighted what rape survivors all over the world have to face just to tell their story. While the significance of having a survivor’s story cannot be underestimated, Kerry Paterson reports how investigators, police, and NGOs gathering testimonies need to take particular steps to get each experience right. Photo by Thorsten Muench. Read More »

The actual state of sexualized violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo

The actual state of sexualized violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo

By — May 18, 2016
When the Democratic Republic of Congo was dubbed the “rape capital of the world” in 2010 by Margot Wallström, the former UN special representative on sexual violence in conflict, understandably the government of DRC was not happy. Besides that, putting one country above all others when it comes to violence against women is a debatable move: So many places have horrifying records of rape and impunity for such cases. But Wallström had good reason for aiming her words at what is unambiguously a truly terrible place for women. more »
The color of lawlessness: Sexual abuse by police, nationwide

The color of lawlessness: Sexual abuse by police, nationwide

By — May 4, 2016
I was stopped by the police one night in January 2015 as I rode the New York City subway. I was making the long trip back downtown from Washington Heights at around 2 a.m. and had fallen asleep. Suddenly, I jolted awake to find an NYPD officer standing over me. The officer asked me to step off the train. I asked him why. He insisted I do it. more »
Rape and sexualized violence in war: The vexing issue of causation and some reflections from Bosnia

Rape and sexualized violence in war: The vexing issue of causation and some reflections from Bosnia

By — April 26, 2016
Refugees. Srebrenica. The siege of Sarajevo. Burning villages such as Ahmići and Stupni Do. The Omarska camp. Captured in these words are some of the most powerful and lasting images of the 1992-1995 Bosnian war. The media captured many of the crimes committed in this conflict, while one particular set of crimes typically occurred behind closed doors. more »
‘There’s no news hook’: Q&A with Amanda Sperber on trying to cover rape in South Sudan

‘There’s no news hook’: Q&A with Amanda Sperber on trying to cover rape in South Sudan

By — April 15, 2016
The scale of sexualized violence in South Sudan has been described by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as “shocking.” In a March report, the office counted more than 1,300 rapes in just five months in 2015 in a single area of the country, Unity State. And this number is only “a snapshot” of the real total, with women and girls being considered “a commodity” by soldiers. more »
How to build a rape case: From gathering testimonies to collecting forensic evidence

How to build a rape case: From gathering testimonies to collecting forensic evidence

By — April 7, 2016
When former radio host Jian Ghomeshi was acquitted of all charges in a high-profile trial in March, the Canadian judge wrote, “The evidence of each complainant suffered not just from inconsistencies and questionable behavior, but was tainted by outright deception.” He also suggested that willful deception was to blame rather than faulty memory, according to CNN. more »

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