HBO is poised to shine a light on the terrible human tragedy of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On Tuesday, April 8 the station will air The Greatest Silence, a ground breaking documentary that exposes the scale and brutality of rape in the Congo (view the trailer). The Enough Campaign and HBO are teaming up to coordinate house screenings around the United States. (Click here to find or organize a screening near you.) The following evening you can join filmmaker, Lisa Jackson; ENOUGH Co-Chair, John Prendergast; and the Director of Public Policy at the Family Violence Prevention Fund, Kiersten Stewart in a conference call to discuss the film and discover practical ways that you can end violence against women in the DRC.
In the meantime, you can brief yourself on the situation by reading this chilling Enough Campaign report on sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo:
According to the International Rescue Committee’s latest study of mortality in Congo, death rates there remain unchanged since the end of the regional war that tore through Africa’s Great Lakes region from 1998 to 2004. By the end of this and every month, 45,000 more Congolese–half of them children–will die from hunger, preventable disease, and other consequences of violence and displacement.
Congolese women and girls in particular bear the vicious brunt of this crisis. Indeed, eastern Congo right now is perhaps the worst place in the world to be a woman or a girl. The sexual violence and rape exists on a scale seen nowhere else in the world as it is part and parcel of the conflict. It mutilates and humiliates. Its nature is brutal and vicious; it defies both description and imagination. Often successful in its intent to destroy and exterminate, rape as a weapon of war is causing the near total destruction of women, their families, and their communities.
Read the full report (pdf).