Mass Rape Should be a War Crime

Target: President Obama

Goal: Publicly condemn sexual assault as a weapon of war and bring international attention to this human rights abuse.

Sexual assault as a weapon is unfortunately, as old as war itself. But the atrocities happening in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo must end. The systemic rape of women is both a symbol of power for soldiers on any side of a conflict and the status of women as subordinates. U.N. officials have called Congo “the rape capital of the world,” and only a handful of rapists have been punished for their actions.

Rape and sex crimes are considered taboo and too intimate to discuss openly, but the roughly 200,000 Congolese women and girls who have been assaulted during wartime deserve our time, compassion and voices. Survivors of wartime rape often do not step forward, because they are seen as cursed women, ostracized from their communities and shunned by what family members have survived the conflicts. Often, these women have external genital damage, become pregnant at the hands of their attacker or have been infected with HIV, requiring medical attention that can be hard to come by in such harsh conditions. To ease the pain and allow these survivors to find life after trauma, we must speak up and find a way to aid in their emotional and medical needs.

Please urge President Obama to publicly condemn sexual violence during wartime and encourage other countries to do the same to aid these victims.


Dear President Obama,

Upward of 200,000 Congolese women and girls have been raped by men who see sexual assault as a weapon of war. Hardly any of these attackers are punished for their actions, and survivors of wartime rape have a host of emotional and physical problems that last a lifetime.

Many survivors do not admit to being raped, for fear that they will be seen as cursed or shunned by family members. They are also often impregnated, infected with HIV and suffer external and psychological damage at the hands of their attackers. The lack of adequate medical care in such areas further endangers the long term well-being of these women — and more must be done to rehabilitate survivors, treat their physical and emotional scars and prevent this from happening in the future.

These victims deserve more than a passing glance. The United States and the U.N. can openly speak up to condemn these war crimes, bring the guilty to justice and give these women and girls a chance at lives without fear or a stigma they don’t deserve.

Please publicly speak up to give a voice to these voiceless women, condemn rape as a war crime and work more closely with the U.N. and other nations to provide aid.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Steve Evans

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  1. Archaic, Barbaric, Cruel, Calculating, Domineering, Manipulative, Oppressing, Controlling … these are some of the words that should be associated with people who stand by and watch this type of behavior. In this day-and-age, one would think that humankind has evolved and would want to see good happen in the world …
    What a disgrace to sometimes be part of this thing called the “human” race. I despair in totality!

  2. The UN needs to be a target of these petitions also. Every country in the world should be condemning such actions. And the ones who don’t be sanctioned! Why did you not include the US representative to ghe UN at a minimum?

  3. Rape is a crime in every society and a cowardly crime, at that: particularly when committed by armed soldiers.

    Mass rape and ANY crime committed against the citizens of a country by soldiers are war crimes… surely, this is already enshrined in law in first world countries and in the U.S. and U.N.

    (Seems obvious that it would be an international law… but have signed in case there was such an immoderate oversight in law in U.S.)

    • According to the ammended Geneva Convention, RAPE is a WAR Crime. It is the UN that needs to be pressured to take action to put a stop to mass rape by soldiers against innocent civilians. These communities need assistance with education to change values related to the victoms of rape, who currently labelled with stigmas, abandoned by thier families, shunned by the community. When the victoms of rape are blaimed for being raped, there will be no justice.

  4. Look at the Rome Statute. It is a war crime.

  5. Seems futile asking Obama to condemn it… in Bosnia it was US forces that set up the supply line of flesh. US are the only Western country not to sign up to the international war crimes commission. Ask yourself why that is.

  6. Doug Larson says:

    Young men and boys are rape victims too and should be included in your petition.

    • Nancy Btienxo says:

      Agreed! Pres O it’s really time to use that pen for something other than helps you and your buddies. This IS YOUR TEST OF WORTH. LEAVE US THIS LEGACY

  7. Those creatures are not men,real men do not have to rape woman to show what brave little soldiers they think they are.Those pieces of inbred rubbish should be lined up and shot,why should these woman have to put up with these filthy smelly low life’s thinking they can do as they please.

  8. Funny how male rape victims, of which there are many, aren’t included. Empathy gap much?

  9. It should be punishable ‘by death’! It’s the worst thing that can happen to a Women or young Girl!

  10. Disgusting, archaic and inhuman beyond belief. In this day and age it is absurd that women are still treated like they don’t matter/have no rights/are second class citizens. Real men should step up and stand up for women. This is your mother, wife, sister and daughter we are talking about here.

  11. Well-worded petition. We need to stad with all women to end this atrocity. We are not, and must stop being treated like, property.
    This is a crime that should be punishable by death.
    And even though it is mostly women that are abused, ALL rape should be included, as some scumbags rape boys/men too.

  12. The civil war waged in South Sudan & the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has directly affected civilians raped by soldiers. According to the Geneva Convention, Rape is a War Crime. The modifications to the Geneva Conventions have been ratified by both the above noted countries: The Democratic Republic of the Congo ratified the IV amendment in 1961, and the South Sudan only recently ratified the IV amendment in 2013. There have been large trials where over 20+ soldiers were accussed of Rape by multiple women, & these women had to keep their identies private to protect themselves from their communities/families. In this trial, only 1-2 soldiers were ever convicted. We need to bring education to these communities to help families to not blaime the victoms, most husbands disown their wives if a rape is reported. Women are not respected in these communities. If you cannot have legal representative to assist the victoms, and the women must face all male tribunals, and they are not able to face their abusers, then there is no justice for the victoms of rape. It is the UN who needs to be addressed, & asked to ensure that rapists are convicted of the war crime of rape & that they are given appropriate punishment & jail time. Let’s stop putting this petition on the President of the USA, frankly they have sufficient military power to put a stop to these attrocities, but have only given lip service.

  13. RAPE is a WAR CRIME. The countries involved need to be brought to bear by the UN & all the international communities to ensure that appropriate sanctions are being brought against the soldiers responsible for raping civilian women.

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