A new study based on face to face interviews reveals that the rape of women in Congo is massively worse than believed. Michelle Hindin, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health who specializes in gender-based violence, emphasizes the rate could be even higher. Interviews are better than national statistics, but some women refuse to discuss their rapes with anyone.
It’s now believed that 1,152 women are raped every day, a rate equal to 48 per hour. Previously the UN estimated that 16,000 women a year were raped in the Congo, a nation of 70 million people plagued by decades of war.
Even in parts of the Congo not at war, a woman is 58 times more likely to be raped than an American women, where the annual rate is 0.5 per 1,000 women.
“The message is important and clear: Rape in (Congo) has metastasized amid a climate of impunity, and has emerged as one of the great human crises of our time,” said Michael VanRooyen, the director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, source of the study.