The Huffington Post: The Four Months Since Hillary

By Eve Ensler

I have been in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo for the month of December. Christmas at Panzi Hospital was overflowing with raped and tortured women. Many young girls, several under 14, carrying babies. Every day at least 13 new women arrive seeking care to repair the damage done to their bodies from the rapes and sexual torture.

Since Secretary Clinton’s wildly publicized and celebrated visit in August, since the UN’s report of success for the Kimia II military operation, since the international community in theory woke up to horrors of the merciless economic war in the Congo, the war rages on and takes its toll. I know because I sat with women who live in the bush, many of whom have now been raped two or three times. I sat holding them as their bodies shook uncontrollably, as they leaked urine from fistula, as they compulsively wrung their hands and hid their faces behind their panges and rocked and cried out to God as they told me their stories:

Ntalwinja, who is 50, from Kalehe was raped by the Interhamwe (former Rwandan Genocidaires) in front of her husband, tied to him and their goats and dragged for 12 hours, held as a sex slave for days on end, raped over and over. Left near dead in the bush, she finally returned to find her husband ill, his heart destroyed from what he had witnessed.

Masaura, who was selling fried fish and not a good runner, was grabbed and raped by three Interhamwe soldiers, taking turns and repeating. Finally crawling home, her husband, a gold miner, who had heard she was raped, expelled her and rejected his children because she was pregnant with her rapists’ baby.

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  1. I read the whole article Jane,
    Having a interest in human right and the world order , at this international level this fact oa action is not new information to me.

    A long time African friend , a university international student center director and myself have talked about this kind of human right violations including child solders.
    Africa is a complex place and what the white man I should shy the the British empire and other European nations did to Africa beyond understand and our own nation and president should be a leader in human rights on all levels.

    I we looked do deep into our own nation and cities and found the lake of human right most people would not understand it .

    Genocidal Rape in Rwanda a State Crime or war crimes and crimes against humanity as state crimes is nothing new , We in our wars have seen and done it all , and with immunity in general at times of war.the laws of men have laggs of clay and truth is a word no spoken only in the dark of night .

  2. Words cannot express!

  3. horrible sufferings of those africans women in democratic republic of Congo! hard to read ,but fine to see activists like you and all the other one who join your movement teasing the international authorithies not to look comfortably on the other side! Frederique Dhenein

  4. Dear Jane,

    I thank you for bringing this to my attention! I did not relize the tragedy that has been occuring in the Congo. What do you think that we as today’s youth can do to help out???

    • Go onto the V-Day website. It is listed on the .front of my website under “MY NON-PROFITS” There is a new mens/boys V-Day component and the site might answer your quetion. Meanwhile I will ask Eve about it. Thanks for your concern. Onward!

  5. Who the hell are we kidding, after WW II it was “Never Again” and it has been going on for ever and ever again. So tragic, unforgivably horrific, sad, and all we can do is go to war in Iraq and Afganistan?

  6. Articles like this make one realise how lucky we are living where we do and how horrible it is for a lot of other people. It is shocking that this sort of thing goes on.

  7. Jane-
    What an amazing woman Eve Ensler seems to be. It’s so nice to know there are people like her who are screaming. Nobody wants to walk around angry all the time….but I certainly know of what she speaks. Looks like I’ll be making more calls now…to a legislative body I’m not sure is listening!! If we only had more people who would scream for others, instead of screaming about not wanting a public option. There are people who have no options left!!!! Those are the people we need to scream for. If that makes us too intense… be it. So Eve and Jane and anybody else that feels like screaming….good for you…and be as angry as you need to be.


  8. Absolutely gut-wrenching.

    But why bring Hillary Clinton into this? We’re going to be saving women in the Congo and killing them in Afghanistan & Pakistan with our little drones? How does this make sense?

    If Eve Ensler wants to help, she’s going to have to raise funds privately – there’s plenty of people who can chip in. She can’t stop the atrocities, but she organize clinics, etc.

    It’s high time we stopped relying on the government and took matters into our own hands.

  9. It’s very upsetting to read this! So many women in the world are suffering! How horrible it must be for these women of the Congo! Wish we knew what Eve Ensler would like us to do about this….write to Obama and Hilary?

    I’m surprised Hilary hasn’t made a bigger effort to help these women! She’s in such a powerful position to help and so is Obama! So, it makes you wonder WHY no results by now? I’m very displeased with both both of them for not making this one of their priorities this past year! I’ll write to them and others about this! Thank you for sharing this with us! It’s so important not to turn away from the horrors that are happening around the world!

  10. What can we do to help? What can I do from here to help? I feel helpless in this situation.

    • Go on the V-Day website…it’s on the front page of my blog, as well, you can access from there. They have a whole section on Congo and what to do. Thanks for caring.

  11. Thank you for bringing this article to my attention, I had not read it. I was aware of Hillary’s trip to Africa and some of the horrors taking place in Congo, but not to the extent that Ensler writes about it. As she points out, it has been 4 months since Hillary’s visit and the President that won the Nobel Peace Prize has not done anything about this. I certainly hope that the administration gets around to addressing this SOON.

  12. I sure do wonder how the United States is going to afford to help every country on the earth. It seems so overwhelming, and where is the money coming from? Even if I gave every cent I made, this earth would still be in dire need. I tried to save the world in my youth. Now I have learned I can only do so much without destroying my own soul.

    • Dear KD, I believe in prayer…sending out heartfelt feelings into the ether for the violence to end. Rent “What the Bleep Do We KNow” and watch it. Also, write letters to the appropriate people in government, including Hillary. She made a promise. So let’s try to remind her to fulfill it. Write to your elected officials. xx

  13. Yes Jane there is no Santa Claus as we know.
    All we have is the United Nations Human Rights System 2010

  14. What kind of man does this thing anyway?

    • Thanks for asking this question, Mike, it’s a central one and complex. The men who are raping and mutilating the women and girls (and babies!!!) in eastern congo have been truned into maniac killers by the genocidal war in Ruwanda. Maybe you saw “Hotel Ruwanda”> Was that it’s name. This is not to excuse what they have become and there are other factors as well. Do remember that in some parts of the world, girls can be purchased for less than a cow. Women and girls, in the most extreme patriarchal cultures have no power, no respect and are seen as sub human. A documentary about this situation said that some of these men believe if they rape women their families will be protected; if they rub certain oils on themselves bullets cannot hurt them. They are crazed and sick and beyond redemption and there MUST be consequences. Right now there are none, as Eve’s Huffington Post so powerfully exposed. Eve just wrote me that those who want to do something to help should go onto the V-DAY website and hit the registry for “City of Joy.” She will have a piece coming out monday that will have specifics about what to do. City of Joy, by the way, is a “city” where 100 women can come when they leave the hospital (to make room for the hundreds more that continue to pour in.) There, they can be cleaned, can heal their bodies, can receive emotional therapy, can earn job skills and can move from victimhood to being warriors for non-violence—as Eve likes to say. And I’ve seen it happen. It CAN happen. Thanks for your concern and for trying to help. I am, in fact going to ut this up as my blog today so more people can see and do something.

  15. Hillary Clinton can only do so much. This is not the only issue on her plate. It certainly is what she is most passionate about. She brings attention to womens issues everywhere she goes.
    Her husband does a nice job getting the money from the fat cats of the world.
    Sec.Clinton and Pres.Clinton rock!

    Why aren’t the various rich not sharing their wealth in the world.

    Some have gained their wealth from sweat and pain of the poor folks in the world.

    Some from whatever their selling to us regular folks.

    Give up some of the luxury you’ve won from us.


    What Andrea Dworkin had to say is vital.

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