Study on rape in DR Congo confirms 'gross’ under-reporting

A new study highlighting the extreme levels of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been welcomed by the top UN official on sexual violence in armed conflict.

Margot Wallström

Margot Wallström

The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, says more than 1150 women are raped every day in the country, which means 48 women are sexually assaulted every hour.

Margot Wallström, the Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict, says the report sheds light on the magnitude of the problem:

“It also confirms what we know from before, and that is sexual violence is grossly under-reported for several reasons: fear, the stigma and shame that surround this type of crime and phenomenon and also the fact that many women do not have access to justice or health services or any assistance after having been exposed to sexual violence.”

Margot Wallström also said that official United Nations figures tended to be conservative, because the organization can only report to the Security Council information that it has been verified itself.

Duration: 25″

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