Reuters blog archive
from The Human Impact:
The mass rape of hundreds of thousands of women and girls from Bosnia to Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo has reinforced the conventional wisdom that rape and sexual violence are an inevitable feature of war.
But rape is not a fact of all wars and if sexual violence does occur within a war, not all armed groups are necessarily involved, experts say.
“There has been a certain kind of rhetoric that all armed groups through history have engaged in sexual violence. But not all armed groups do engage in sexual violence. It’s not just something that always happens in war. Some armed groups can and do prohibit sexual violence,” said Elisabeth Wood, an expert on wartime sexual violence and professor of political science at Yale University.
“Knowing that rape is not inevitable in war gives us hope that things can change. We have to better understand the causes of sexual violence during war to be more effective in preventing it,” Wood told Thomson Reuters Foundation, speaking on the sidelines of an event on sexual violence in Bogota this week.
from India Insight:
(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily of Reuters)
A grim parlour game sometimes comes to mind when I read the latest story about someone raping a woman or a child in India. Is this the one that's going to change everything? Is this the one that's going to keep me up for days contributing to the news media's coverage? Or is this just another rape?
from The Human Impact:
When I arrived in India some years back as a single mother and full-time journalist, there was one thing I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about – finding domestic help.
Maids, nannies, drivers, cooks and cleaners are ten-a-penny amongst the urban middle classes here.
A majority of American Roman Catholics feel strongly about the sacraments and traditional church values such as caring for the poor, but they may not agree with the church teachings on topics such as abortion, same-sex marriage and maintaining a celibate, male clergy, a survey has found.
The "Catholics in America" survey of Roman Catholics published by the National Catholic Reporter found 86 percent said Catholics can disagree with aspects of church teaching and still remain loyal to the church.
Ireland's prime minister has said Catholic clerics would be prosecuted if they failed to tell the authorities about crimes disclosed during confession, the latest blow to the prestige of the once-dominant Church. A report this week found that the Church concealed from the authorities the sexual abuse of children by priests as recently as 2009, and that clerics appeared to follow Church law rather than Irish guidelines to protect minors.
Germany's Roman Catholic Church will open its files to independent investigators into a sexual abuse crisis, allowing a search as far back as 1945, a bishop announced on Wednesday. Nine German dioceses will open records dating back to the end of World War Two while the 18 others will do so for the period 2000 to 2010, Bishop Stephan Ackermann said in Bonn.
"We want to track down the truth that may be lying undiscovered in the files of previous decades," said Ackermann, the spokesman on abuse issues for the bishops' conference. The two studies will provide "not only formal statistics, but also research into the causes (of abuse)," he told journalists, "so we can better understand how this monstrous sexual abuse by clerics and church employees came about."
A government-sponsored report said on Wednesday the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Ireland continued to conceal the sexual abuse of children by priests even after it introduced rules in the mid-1990s to protect minors.
Revelations of rape and beatings by members of religious orders and the priesthood in the past have shattered the dominant role of the Catholic Church in Ireland. But the latest report into the handling of sex abuse claims in the diocese of Cloyne, in County Cork, shows that senior-ranking clergy were still trying to cover up abuse allegations almost until the present day.
The Episcopal Church's diocese of Nevada sought to calm an uproar over a former Benedictine monk who admitted sexual indiscretions with a parishioner before he was ordained an Episcopal priest by Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who is now leader of the 2.3 million member U.S. church.
"It looks to me like she handled the situation by the book," Bishop Dan Edwards said of Jefferts Schori's actions regarding Fr. Bede Parry, a church organist and former Episcopal priest.
The Irish government asked religious orders on Tuesday to consider transferring buildings and land to the state to cover a 200 million euros shortfall in their contribution to a compensation fund for victims of abuse. The congregations agreed in 2009 to provide more compensation to victims of rape, beatings and slave labour in now defunct industrial schools they ran after the publication of a report into the abuse shocked the once devout Catholic country.
TheDutch bishops' conference had sought the recommendation of an independent commission after cases surfaced involving paedophile priests in the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Germany, Australia, Canada and the United States.