By Rosan Smits and Serena Cruz. Clingendael Conflict Research Unit, June 2011.
Despite significant efforts to combat sexual violence in the DRC, prevalence rates remain among the highest in the world. This is due not only to capacity constraints but also because programs primarily target conflict zones and fail to address violence-prone social constructions common around the country. Treatment must move beyond the “weapon of war” narrative to incentivize male and female empowerment strategies nationwide and strengthen the link between judicial action and gender-related social services. While rape is not strictly a security concern, SSR programs must also address that sexual violence is commonly committed by those in uniform, discrediting security forces and undermining stability.
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