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Sex abuse survivor, doctor win Nobel Peace Prize

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 10/05/18, 11:39 am

A Congolese doctor and an Iraqi woman received the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for their work against sexual violence and war crimes. Both are the first from their countries to receive the award. Dr. Denis Mukwege, 63, founded a hospital in the eastern area of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he has treated thousands of women, many of whom were victims of rape in the conflict-ridden region. He temporarily left the country after armed men tried to kill him in 2012. Nadia Murad in 2014 was kidnapped at age 19 by Islamic State (ISIS), along with an estimated 3,000 Yazidi girls and women, and sold into sex slavery, raped, and tortured. After escaping and receiving treatment in Germany, she began raising awareness for what ISIS had done to her religious minority and became the UN’s first goodwill ambassador for the dignity of survivors of human trafficking at 23 years old.

“[Mukwege and Murad] have made a crucial contribution to focusing attention on, and combating, such war crimes,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said. “Denis Mukwege is the helper who has devoted his life to defending these victims. Nadia Murad is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself and others.”

The pair previously won Europe’s premiere human rights award, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.

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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

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  • JerryM
    Posted: Fri, 10/05/2018 06:02 pm

    It is hard not to think, as with Obama's Nobel, that the committee is sending a message to the world and once again revealing its political agenda.

  •  Phil in PDX's picture
    Phil in PDX
    Posted: Fri, 10/05/2018 06:51 pm

    Rewarding people who help others recover from sexual abuse reveals a "political agenda"? I think it reveals a loving heart!

  • JerryM
    Posted: Sat, 10/06/2018 11:33 pm

    I do not disagree but the timing is highly suspect.

  • HJM
    Posted: Sun, 10/07/2018 06:18 pm

    The sexual abuse of children and women around the world is rampant.  Whatever their reasons for awarding these two people the Nobel Peace Prize, I am thankful that the committee chose them and are giving voice to the plight of so many.  I realize that we are a little sensitive here in the states because of the witch hunt happening here, but let's not forget that sexual abuse is a reality for far too many people and the more we talk about it and learn from those who are on the front lines, the better we as Christians are equipped to step onto the front lines along with others to offer the love of Christ in meaningful and genuinely helpful ways.  I hope we won't let our hearts be hardened here simply because some choose to make this a political issue.  If the Lord can cause Balaam's donkey to speak truth, surely He can use the Norwegian Nobel Committee to expose and highlight a population of people who have suffered for too long.  He hears their cries and is bringing their plight to light.