The eastern part of the Congo has been going through harsh moments of brutality and war these last fifteen years. This is caused by the lack of strong laws that can appropriately deal with security. These wars have caused a lot of victims in the human and material sense. Women and men have been killed like flies and no one is punished. Women have also been used as sex objects. They have been raped, mutilated, tortured and abandoned to their fate. Some of these women and girls have been raped several times but with different actors in their hiding out area.
Finally taking a stand, the women working in the Congo media have launched a campaign worldwide to raise the awareness of the evils that are being done to the Congo women in the presence of the local authorities. The aim of this media campaign is not only to inform the world of what is happening in the Congo, but to pressure the politicians to take action in helping these unfortunate people, particularly women and girls who have been violated. These acts of barbarism are conducted daily by people using small weapons, particularly at night. While they may be small weapons, they are causing big problems. The perpertrators are not yet well identified because they mingle among the civilians. This occurs because the people who flee the army have never rendered their arms back to the military.
Recently, the world celebrated a week of action against light weapons from May 10 to 16. This was a good occasion to inform and sensitize the leaders of the world to the need for better control and legislation on arms. It is also an opportunity to put strong pressure on the world commerce of arms among African countries. Occasions like this one must be used to tackle the issue of armed violence. Human rights activists expect the Congolese government and other governments to disarm the aggressors during this week of action against armed violence. However, the fact is that women and girls undergo the worst armed violence in their homes since they can be raped, killed and ridiculed by the aggressors in the eyes of their parents, husbands, children, relatives and sometimes neighbors.
Regarding home violence, research has found that there is the systematic use of small weapons for threatening, and intimidating people with violence in their own homes. Women and girls are the most likely to die violently once an aggressor has entered the home. In some situations, the aggressor is a husband or a domestic partner who had a violent dispute with the victim.
Finally women in the Congo media are involved with many organizations to advocate in the press and in other ways calling for eradicating violence done to women and girls in the home. Let us hope that their brave actions create positive change.
Understanding the magnitude of the problem is a necessary step that will help governments and organizations to set up policies for protecting women in their homes. To achieve this, the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations must be involved to find a solution. This may require the creation of some umbrella organizations for better achievements.