You do not have to look hard into today’s news to find stories of revolutions occurring and countries overtaken by militants and regimes. Sadly though, most of the stories that are found describing the horrible events that are occurring worldwide do not fully describe the terror that is being inflicted in the hearts of the innocent victims caught in the middle of these disputes. While many stories go into deep detail about the battle casualty counts and the numbers of militants and civilians killed in the dispute, they fail to address the very important and often overlooked issue of rape in times of war and revolution. In conflicts such as the revolution in Syria, it is not hard to find a story on the casualties and deaths among rebel and government forces, but it is hard to come by a story such as the one told by Kanawati, a psychologist in a refugee camp, in which a family’s house in Homs, Syria was broken into by Syrian army soldiers. The father and son of the family were tied up and the mother and three daughters were raped in front of them. The story of this family is not one that is extremely rare though. In many war-torn countries, it has become common to find more than one type of warfare raging throughout the country.
While there is still the warfare that has been used since the beginning of civilization, tyrants and regimes have also been continuing the use of another type of warfare to get to the minds of the people they are oppressing, as well as the hearts. This tactic is used to demoralize and break down the minds of the opposition. It breaks apart families and destroys the willpower of many to fight. The one thing that can do all of this to the minds of thousands is Rape. Tyrants and the militaries serving under them have been using rape as an effective tool to prevent and suppress rebellions for hundreds of years, but it is still not recognized by the media and many still fail to realize the extent to which one can demean and demoralize opposition through rape. Many also fail to realize that rape is even used on a large scale today. As much as I would love for rape to not be used as such a tool and for it not to exist at all, I am afraid that we must come to the realization that it is indeed very real and a very prominent issue in the modern as well as developing world.
Thousands of women (and men as well) are being and have been sexually abused and raped as a result for the sole reason as a tool in political oppression tactics. We must come to the realization that this is true before we can begin making changes to it. Stories of people like one unnamed Free Syrian Army soldier, who was captured by Syrian Government troops and forced to watch the rape of his fiance, mother, and sisters in the Syrian prison he was being held in, are becoming common to find in countries that are war torn or going through revolutions. We must come to the realization that these stories are true and tragedies like this happen every day and it is our job to do something about it.
The first step to preventing future rape and stopping the use of it now is to raise awareness of it. Spread the news of it. Through way of paper, the internet, or even just by telling people. These violations of human rights and large-scale crimes against humanity must come to an end and we are the people that hold to power to bring the end to it.
by Spencer Green