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Title:Hiding my shame: the rape of men as weapon of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Author:Kwesiga, Arnold
Periodical:East African Journal of Peace and Human Rights (ISSN 1021-8858)
Geographic terms:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Subjects:sexual offences
war crimes
Abstract:Sexual violence - whether in peace time or during conflict situations - is one of the most horrific acts experienced by both women and men. However, such violence has traditionally been associated with women as the victims and men as the perpetrators. The invisibility of men and boys as (non)survivors has greatly impeded their access to both legal and psychosocial services. This article based on examples from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda reveals that sexual violence against men is a strategic weapon and has nothing to do with either the victim's or the perpetrator's sexual orientation. Most of this violence is intended to disempower, humiliate and attack the dignity of the victims as men, but it is also strategically used in recruitment drives by rebels and as a means of torture and a way of acquiring information. There is a need to look into male sexual violence within conflict and post-conflict settings. Further study should explore the issue of culture and silence and how gender ideologies and power inequalities have greatly been employed in conflict situations in order to perpetuate the rape of men. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]