Unspeakable Act, An [world Service]


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Will Storr hears the unforgettable personal testimonies of rape victims and their families

In this powerful documentary, Will Storr examines a taboo that still reigns even in the most diabolical of conflicts.

Despite existing mostly in the realm of rumour and secret, many contemporary academics believe that sexual violence is a facet of all wars.

Today, rape is one of the widespread problems that faces the women of the Great Lakes region of East Africa.

In the first part of this searing examination of the issue, award-winning writer and Guardian journalist Will Storr travels to the Democratic Republic of Congo to meet the women who are menaced daily by the escaped genocidaires from neighbouring Rwanda - who haunt the forested borderlands - and by their own army.

In the beautiful and savagely violent Lake Kivu region - the so called 'rape capital of the world' - Will bears witness to their unforgettable personal testimonies and learns about the effects it has on victims and their families.

He also questions an unapologetic teenage rapist, as well as members of the army who are supposedly responsible for preventing such atrocities.

(Image: Thirty-five year old Mapendo M'Kata of the South Kivu region of the DRC, was three months pregnant when she was raped by three soldiers. She lost her baby and was abandoned by her husband. She has four children to look after. Image taken by Will Storr. Copyright: Christian Aid)

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Will Storr investigates the impact of sexual violence against men in DR Congo.

Rape is the great secret of war and the taboo is never so strong as it is for men who - many contemporary academics believe - suffer in conflicts right across the globe.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is known as the 'rape capital of the world' and the terrible experiences of the women who live in the region has been widely documented.

Less well known is the fact that an astonishing 22% of the region's men have also suffered from sexual violence.

In the second part of this bold examination of the issue, award winning writer and Guardian journalist Will Storr travels to Kampala, Uganda to meet the male refugees from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Having fled their homes, they find themselves grievously wounded, rejected by African society, their friends and wives.

Many western charities and NGOs who have the resources to help women but routinely turn men away.

There he hears their extraordinary stories and discovers the astonishing destructive power of rape as a weapon of war.

(Image: An anonymous 25 year old male who was raped by members of the DRC army, the FARDC. Image taken by Will Storr. Copyright: Christian Aid)