The City of Joy


“This is not rape as people in the West understand it. This is a weapon of war, a deliberate strategy designed to destroy our communities by leaving our women disabled and ostracised from their families and neighbours.”– Dr. Denis Mukwege, a Congolese doctor who treats rape victims and is helping to build a place called “The City of Joy,” a town especially built for women to “heal, rebuild and learn new skills to take out into the world again.”

You should really, really read this article. It made me cry.

Here’s more with some ways to help, if you’re interested, which you should be. This is the deadliest and most violent conflict since World War II, and no one seems to have noticed.

Update: It turns out Kristof just wrote a very good column on the Congo, too.

Seth Fischer's writing has appeared in Best Sex Writing 2013, Buzzfeed, PankGuernica, Lunch Ticket, Gertrude, and elsewhere. His Rumpus piece "Notes from a Unicorn" was listed as a notable essay in The Best American Essays 2013. He will be a 2014 Lambda Literary Emerging Voicing Fellow and was a 2013 Jentel Arts Residency Program Fellow. He also teaches at Antioch University Los Angeles and Writing Workshops Los Angeles. Find more writing of his writing at, or reach him @sethfischer. More from this author →