How many children born of rape?
Manchester Evening News (U.K.)
The mass rape of women during the Balkan wars of the 1990s has tragic fallout to this day, said Charlotte Dobson. Militants, mostly Serbs, raped some 20,000 women, mostly Bosnian Muslims, during years of civil war. Thousands of women were kept in rape camps, where soldiers attacked them night after night; many others were raped in their homes, in front of husbands and children, as a terror tactic. It’s unknown how many babies were born of these rapes, because some were killed at birth and many others were abandoned in orphanages. A few, like Lejla Damon, were adopted abroad. Damon was brought to the U.K. as a toddler by journalists covering the war. Her birth mother was “so traumatized” that she couldn’t bear to look at the child. A few years ago, Damon, now 25, began writing to her birth mother through the Bosnian Embassy, and finally met her last year. She found a woman living in poverty, like most Bosnian rape victims, because the government requires proof of rape before awarding compensation, and most women can’t or won’t reveal their painful history. “Obviously I’m proof of that for my mum,” Damon said. “She has received her [compensation] now. I hope it can give just a little bit of comfort in her life.”