National Catholic Reporter

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Violence against women

Preview: Global summit helps break the silence on war and women

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It may be the most salient commentary on the status of women globally that it has taken the world until the 21st century to undertake serious efforts to end sexual violence in conflict.

Rape as a weapon and a spoil of war, which disproportionately affects women, has long been the hidden and undiscussed atrocity. The long silence, however, is being broken, most recently at a Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, held in London and organized by British Foreign Secretary William Hague and American actress and activist Angelina Jolie.

English cardinal calls sexual violence 'most gross breach' of rights

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Sexual violence "is always a crime, an immoral act" and the Catholic church is committed to prevent such offenses being perpetrated "against anyone, anywhere and under any circumstances," an English cardinal said.

Speaking at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster said the rape and sexual degradation of civilians during conflicts inflicted a "deep wound on the body of humanity."

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