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Pornography, Rape and Sexual Assault

Request for Help from Stop Porn Culture — Help Congolese Women and Girls Fight Sexual Violence

Dear Stop Porn Culture Supporters,
Last month, SPC was contacted by Groupe d’Action pour le Droit (GAD), a non-profit NGO in the Democratic Republic of Congo that advocates for the human rights of children, youth and women affected by sexual violence. They do counseling for survivors of sexual trauma and community education about the issue. The conditions that GAD is working in are horrendous to say the least. The United Nations characterizes the conflict in the DR Congo as “one of the bloodiest the world has known since World War II.” According to Amnesty International,

“Tens of thousands of women and girls have suffered systematic rape and sexual assault since the devastating conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) began in 1998. Rape, sometimes by groups as large as twenty men, has become a hallmark of the conflict, with armed factions often using it as part of a calculated strategy to destabilize opposition groups, undermine fundamental community values, humiliate the victims and witnesses, and secure control through fear and intimidation. It is not unusual for mothers and daughters to be raped in front of their families and villages, or to be forced to have sex with their sons and brothers. Rapes of girls as young as six and women over 70 have been reported. Young girls are also regularly abducted and held captive for years to be used as sexual slaves by combatants and their leaders.”

You can read more about the rape epidemic in the DRC in this New York Times article from October 2007:  “Rape Epidemic Raises Trauma of Congo War.”

GAD has identified pornography as a factor in these atrocities. GAD’s president, Kubuya Elie, has requested the help of Stop Porn Culture.  He would like to come to our slideshow training in July. We are deeply moved that GAD believes we can offer them assistance: there are no women anywhere who need our help more.In order to bring Mr. Elie to Boston, we need your help. Besides the slideshow training, we plan to arrange meetings with human rights groups here that are working against trafficking and have resources for trauma victims. We estimate it will cost at least $4,000 to do this. As you know, SPC is an all-volunteer organization with an annual budget of zero. It can only happen if you make it happen. Please consider donating whatever you can to help us help GAD and the women of the DR Congo. The sooner you can do so, the sooner we will know whether we can make flight arrangements for Mr. Elie. No amount is too small to make a difference for the women enduring these conditions of sexual brutality and slavery.Please make checks out to Feminists Against Pornography, earmarked “for DRC.”  And thank you for participating in this important work.In solidarity,
Carol Corgan, Gail Dines, Matt Ezzell, Susan Falupel, Lierre Keith, Robert Jensen, Jesse Pierce, Denyse Snyder, and Rebecca Whisnant  for Stop Porn Culture
Stop Porn Culture
PO Box 813
Northampton MA 01061
Thanks to eeni at radical misfit and to Lierre Keith for sending this to me.

Discussion

4 thoughts on “Request for Help from Stop Porn Culture — Help Congolese Women and Girls Fight Sexual Violence

  1. Hey Heart,

    I’d like to take the credit but I didn’t send this to you. In fact I didn’t even know about it. You must have got me mixed up with someone else!

    Posted by allecto | February 10, 2008, 12:36 am
  2. You’re right, allecto, and I just realized it too about a half hour ago. It was actually eeni at Radical Misfit. I fixed it. 🙂

    Posted by womensspace | February 10, 2008, 12:59 am
  3. I don’t see how can pornography be a factor. Were talking about the rebels in the middle of a jungle in Africa. Where are they going to get pornography? I don’t think you can get internet coverage in some rebel encampment in the middle of nowhere. They barely have roads in that region.

    Posted by balom | February 10, 2008, 8:46 pm
  4. I do see how pornography could be a factor. Even if they don’t import it from elsewhere, there’s no reason they couldn’t make it themselves. It wouldn’t be the first time men filmed themselves raping women. Pornography would be very effective for preparing the men to later go out and commit the atrocities they intended on.

    Posted by keen | February 11, 2008, 6:28 am

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