The Greatest Silence: Rape in The Congo

On April 8th at 10 pm (ET / PT) HBO Documentary Films presents The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo. It’s described as

Shot in the war zones of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), this documentary feature explores the shocking plight of women and girls caught in the sexual crossfire as this giant African nation enters its second decade of internal conflict. Since 1998, a brutal war has ravaged the DRC, killing over 4 million people. Over the same time, tens of thousands of women and girls have been systematically kidnapped, raped, mutilated and tortured by soldiers – both from foreign militias and the Congolese army that is supposed to protect them. Emmy®-winning filmmaker Lisa F. Jackson, herself a survivor of gang rape, travels deep inside the DRC to understand what is happening and why. Her resultant film features interviews with survivors, activists, peacekeepers, physicians and, most chillingly, two groups of rapists who are soldiers of the Congolese Army. Above all, it highlights first-person accounts of dozens of rape survivors, who recount their stories with pulverizing honesty and immediacy. Heart-wrenching in its portrayal of the grotesque realities of life in Congo, the film also provides inspiring examples of resiliency, courage and grace, while serving as a call to action for anyone with a conscience.

You can read more about The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo here. You can also read about Lisa F. Jackson, the filmaker. But the most amazing section of the site are the Survivor Portraits. One of the hardest one for me to read was Maria Namafu, who is seventy years old. Maria was
raped by three soldiers who told her “you’re not too old for us.”

If you want to learn more, you can check out the following resources that were provided by HBO.

Women for Women International – Restoring Hope

International Rescue Committee – The IRC in Democratic Republic of Congo

Human Rights Watch – Congo

Panzi Hospital, Bukavu

United Nations: Mission in the Congo (MONUC)

The Greatest Silence: Rape in The Congo

I hope you can take a moment and watch these women. They have suffered and they have survived. I believe them to be heroes.

Rocky Sig

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