Sex Terrorism

In war-ridden countries, such as Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, sex with women- any woman/girl/female toddler- is the currency among soldiers. Without sufficient money to pay the soldiers, commanders capture females and use them as money. If women refuse, they torture them, gang rape them in front of their friends and families, and then stone to them to death as described by this New York Times article.

What these unfortunate women, most of whom are refugees and displaced persons forced to venture out of camps in search of food and water, go through is more than rape. Rape is horrendous enough. Its psychological effects are dire, especially in traditional societies. Its health consequences are devastating, which many suffering from vesicovaginal fistula. But gang rape, sex torture, and the their uses as currency and weapon to subdue civilians are more than just rape. Once rape is used as a weapon to terrorize civilians, especially women, it becomes something much more.

The word rape is simply not strong enough to categorize the sufferance these women go through.  Sex terrorism is what these women go through.

We need to start calling these cases ( sex terrorism to understand the seriousness of the problems and, most importantly, to gauge the right response. Most Westerners often read about rape in Africa and they conjure the image of one woman being raped. They say, “oh that’s sad” and go back to their daily lives. But if we say sex terrorism, Westerners are more compelled to raise awareness of the problem and urge NGOs, non-profits, and the international community, such as the UN, to deal with the problem.

Until the developed countries start to realize the gravity of the problem of sex terrorism, innocent female toddlers, girls, and women will continue to live the rest of their lives in fear that they would become the next victims of sex terrorism.


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