HBO recently aired a documentary titled, The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo - a shocking exposé of a decade-old epidemic of kidnapping, rape and torture of women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo, often carried out with impunity by gangs of armed militias, leaving survivors traumatized and isolated - shunned by society and their families, and suffering lifelong physical and psychological effects.
The doc was a Sundance 2008 entry and won the "Grand Jury Prize" for best documentary.
If you didn't catch the HBO broadcast, the film is now available on DVD via Women Make Movies, and I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy.
War has raged through the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for more than a decade - it has been called the deadliest worldwide conflict since World War II.
The United Nations estimates that 200,000 women and girls have been raped in the DRC during the last 10 years - some victims as young as three years old.
Armed groups use rape as a weapon of war to tear apart families, spread disease and weaken communities, and the women are often victimized doubly - first by their rapists; and secondly by spouses or family members who then find it dishonorable or socially unacceptable to associate with them.
Worldfocus recently reported on all this from eastern Congo: