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War has ravaged the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for more than two decades. Almost 5.5 million people are dead, and the wounds of the conflict are deep and enduring.
Women in the DRC are victims of one of the most appalling assaults the world has witnessed. Rape and brutal sexual assaults have become tools of war -- spreading HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, disfiguring women and destroying families. The violence is not only traumatizing women, but their children, who often witness the attacks or who are attacked themselves.
There is no end in sight. Tens of thousands more women and young girls are at risk with the newest wave of heavy fighting between rebel and government troops.
That's why your support for the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) is so urgently needed. This legislation will increase protection and services for women and girls facing gender based violence, and will direct more U.S. funding to violence prevention abroad.
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