Reading Adam Hochschild's extraordinary account of ordinary people caught up in the horrific ravages of a civil war raging in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), I was struck by how incongruous my own encounter with this suffering is. I read his article over lunch, safe in the comfort of my own home. As a woman, I live largely without fear of the kind of brutal sexual violence that Hochschild opens his article with, as he related the story of a Congolese NGO worker who is herself a victim of multiple rapes.

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