It’s almost always painful to watch when TV shows try to stretch to make a statement, and SVU is only the second best Law & Order on NBC, but rape as a weapon of war gets such weak attention and I’m interested enough in John Prendergast’s involvement that I’m willing to tune in to NBC tonight (Wednesday, March 17, 10pm ET).
After a witness to a sexual assault reveals that she is a refugee from Congo, her story begins to unravel into something that goes beyond Manhattan. A survivor of sexual violence herself, she brings to light the complexity of the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The team works hard to keep her safe in the US after hearing her horrific story, but will soon learn that this case will affect more lives than they had ever imagined.
SVU‘s Benson penned a post on Huffington today with Prendergast explaining the broader issue:
Eastern Congo is the world’s deadliest conflict globally since WWII. Widespread rape is used as a strategy of war and an instrument of communal terror, making this region the world’s most dangerous place to be a woman or a girl. Armed groups compete to control lucrative mines and smuggling routes. Rape becomes their principal means of terrorizing local populations into passive compliance, so they can steal the mineral wealth without opposition.
The punchline of the piece is a call to urge industries not to use these minerals. We’ll jump on that bandwagon too.