Rape as tactic of war pt.3: Hundreds of women raped by qaddafi forces
31.05.2011 § Leave a comment
“At first, the responses to the questionnaire about the trauma of the war in Libya were predictable, if tragic: 10,000 people suffering post-traumatic stress, 4,000 children with psychological problems. Then came the unexpected: 259 women said they had been raped by militiamen loyal to Muammar Qaddafi.
Dr. Seham Sergewa had been working with children traumatized by the fighting in Libya but soon found herself being approached by troubled mothers who felt they could trust her with their dark secret.
The first victim came forward two months ago, followed by two more. All were mothers of children the London-trained child psychologist was treating, and all described how they were raped by militiamen fighting to keep Qaddafi in power.
Dr. Sergewa decided to add a question about rape to the survey she was distributing to Libyans living in refugee camps after being driven from their homes. The main purpose was to try to determine how children were faring in the war; she suspected many were suffering from PTSD.
To her surprise, 259 women came forward with accounts of rape. They all said the same thing.
…Rape has been a common weapon of war throughout the ages,
…Dr. Sergewa said she has interviewed 140 of the rape survivors in various states of mental anguish, and has been unable to persuade a single victim to prosecute. None would speak to the AP about her ordeal, even with a promise to hide her identity.
“Some I diagnosed with acute psychosis; they are hallucinating,” Dr. Sergewa said. “Some are very depressed; some want to commit suicide. Some want their parents to kill them because they don’t want their families to bear the shame.”
“They are using rape not just to hurt women but to terrorize entire families and communities,” Dr. Sergewa said. “The women I spoke to say they believed they were raped because their husbands and brothers were fighting Qaddafi.”
“I think it is also to put shame on the tribes or the villages, to scare people into fleeing, and to say: ‘We have raped your women,'” she said.
Dr. Sergewa says women will continue to be targets of the militiamen, and this makes it all the more urgent to finish her study and get it published.
Full article Here.