Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Greatest Silence

The definition and seriousness of rape really sets in after watching an award winning documentary such as "The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo." The video was a mix of rape victims, rapist’s, priests, and a general overview of what actually happens in Congo. As Jesuit’s we have a responsibility not only to our local community, but to everyone in need. By making the rapes and terror taking place in Congo noticed throughout the Loyola Campus, awareness will be raised, and the more attention brought to this topic, the better.

I was so moved by the documentary I actually went to research the topic further on the Congo site, Congoweek.org. There I read about how Congo and its issues made its way to the Loyola Campus. “It is part of our Jesuit identity to put ourselves in solidarity with others around the world,” according to Kate Grubb Clark director of Student Activities at Loyola College. Getting this subject out wherever possible it of the utmost importance. To be honest, I had no idea that such horrible things were going on in the world. Over two-hundred thousand women have been raped and I am sure there are still some unaccounted for or too scared to come forward.

Not only is it just about the rape victims but also for all the people who have been killed in mass numbers. “Since 1998, more than five million people have died as a result of fighting in the DRC. Malnutrition, hunger and disease have all contributed to the death toll, in addition to the brutal raping of women.” As I was reading the articles and watching the documentary, I thought back to September 11th. What a tragedy it was that three thousand people died in this country. Five million deaths however, is a number so large I simply could not get my head around it. To live in such fear of either being killed or raped is a way no one should live regardless of the circumstances in their life. Not only adults but also children are being raped and killed.

The movie made me cringe with anger, almost to the point where I wanted to go over and fix it myself. Of course, this wouldn’t be possible, but it made me realize how important it is to “advertise” what is going on. If a simple documentary could make me so worked up, imagine what it could do to other people. Although going to the event seemed some what of a drag since I knew nothing about the topic, it made me appreciate the employees at Loyola. I personally know Cindy Parcover, who was involved in this production of Loyola’s Congo week, and it showed how much people actually care. I have become more educated in the subject thanks to her and now I can hopefully make a difference. Not only as a Jesuit but as an individual I would like to help in the best of my ability, because this type of violence and pure evil is not needed in the world.

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