Last week, a doctor who has dedicated his practice to helping rape survivors heal was attacked. His family was held hostage, he was threatened at gun point, and his security guard died. Why didn’t you hear about it? Because it happened in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Lauren Wolfe reports at The Atlantic:
No money or property was taken and the car was left behind, calling into question robbery as a motive. Whether this was a kidnapping or assassination attempt, no one is quite sure, but what we do know is that the attack occurred within a couple blocks of the headquarters of MONUSCO, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo — the largest current peacekeeping force in the world, with more than 20,000 troops. We know that DRC is at the mercy of multiple armed groups, including the notorious M23, FDLR, and Mai Mai militias, which are known for their inhuman mutilations of women’s bodies.
We also know that Mukwege is the world’s best-known doctor treating women who have been raped in that country’s 16 years of conflict. He has treated more than 40,000 women as medical director and founder of the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, eastern DRC, he told me recently. He has operated on more than 15,000 women whose bodies have been ripped apart by sexualized violence, he said. Mukwege is “the epicenter of resistance,” said Stephen Lewis, founder of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which works to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa, and a supporter of Panzi Hospital.
“He is the person who stands as the anchor for survival,” Lewis said. “You lose him and you lose yet another dimension of the struggle.”
You can – and should – read the whole thing here. This is what misogyny looks like: you don’t just hurt women. You hurt any person, regardless of their gender, who tries to help women. Even if that means threatening the life of a man who stitches up little girls who have been raped.