Women’s health: Rape of the Congo

In her role as gender-based violence research coordinator at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, 2008 HSPH graduate Jocelyn Kelly traveled to war-torn Eastern Congo in 2009 and early 2010 to conduct interviews with perpetrators of sexual violence and mass rape. She spoke with Public Radio International’s The World about her conversations with these men, soldiers belonging to the Mai Mai rebel militia group. Hearing their stories makes such acts of violence less “incomprehensible,” she told anchor Lisa Mullin. “What you really see,” says Kelly, “is men who could have been fathers and traders becoming soldiers and living within these…cycles of violence.” Understanding why these acts are perpetrated, she adds, is a step critical to preventing them in the future.

Listen to the full interview on PRI’s The World

More Information

Rape of the Congo: Making Sense of Sexual Violence in Central Africa (Harvard Public Health Review)

Talking Terror (Harvard News Office)