08 October 2007

Hardly imaginable

As noted on the Think Christian blog, this is no easy read, but I commend it to you with all sobriety and caution (for it conveys some rather disturbing details): today's New York Times article "Rape Epidemic Raises Trauma of Congo War" should give us all pause as we consider the plight of humans across the globe.

The article features the work of Dr. Denis Mukwegeat the Panzi Hospital of Bukavu, a tremendous place. Their website notes that they counsel women and their husbands, when applicable, toward real forgiveness of their aggressors and perseverance together. The hospital also hosts a daycare for children conceived from sexual violence, counting more than 200 such children in their care between 2003 and mid-2006.

It remains unthinkable to me that such atrocity would happen anywhere, on my street or in the wilderness, and yet this story suggests that violence toward women has become the norm in Congo. And this points us to at least three tragedies.

First, the obvious tragedy that women would be so violated, physically assaulted because they are regarded as chattel, economic means to a political end, mentally and emotionally and physically annihilated by men who have lost any semblance of control or real humanity.

So we see the second tragedy: that these men would become so inhuman that they would perpetrate such acts, and in widespread manner. They not only do evil but approve of others who do so, and help commit the crimes against other humans, perhaps in an attempt to simply justify one's own lawlessness. And suddenly, the standard of real manhood drops: the norm becomes rape and murder, divorce and war.

And the third tragedy remains for the children, some of whom carry disease and all of whom carry stigma into this world. All that results in more stigma and maybe even abandonment, even as they dwell in a sick land that seems only to wait for them to grow up so that they may join the war too. May God heal the land and the people, not just "that" land and "those" people but we who are their sisters and brothers, and soon.


My Breathments Off said...

Wow. I first read "Rare" instead of "Rape." I thought that it was going to be about the recent Marburg virus, but this is much worse, I think. It's definitely the lesser of two evils, but that poor country.

Jen Strange said...

Marburg virus--I had to Google that, Dr. Sic. Both things actually seem nearly unbelievable to me. That is, the virus and the violence. Not the fact that I didn't know what the virus was, which is very believable.

Shannon said...

Ugh-I read about this in last Sunday's paper, right underneath an article about the horrible things happening to women in the middle east who choose not to wear burka's etc... It's so hard to imagine, and it blows my mind that these things happen all the time to women all over the world. Unbelievable.

Jen Strange said...

Yes, there's lots in the news about it lately, which is good. I also happened to read about the same issue in Don Miller's Blue Like Jazz, which is pretty much entirely not recommendable. But he whines about this world circumstance a little, which made me think he did it a great disservice (his tone stirs no kind of action but the same kind of postmodern malaise as the voice from which he writes). Surely we need no more malaise!

Anyway, think of the stories that do not get told, friends! These women feature in the news, and I reckon there are even more unbelievable stories not told, squashed before they ever leave the house or hut.