A WOMAN INJURED IN RECENT FIGHTING BETWEEN REBEL SOLDIERS AND CONGOLESE GOVERNMENT SOLDIERS PUTS HER HEAD IN HER HANDS AT THE HEAL AFRICA HOSPITAL IN GOMA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
violence against women and girls has been a part of armed conflict.
Women and girls are killed, injured, widowed and orphaned.
They are abducted into sexual slavery or forced to exchange sex or marriage for survival.
They are raped, a tactic used by fighting forces to humiliate, intimidate
During the height of fighting in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo , it’s estimated nearly 40 women were raped a day in one province alone.
Today, renewed fighting in the eastern part of the country has lead to an increase in sexual and gender-based violence.
Rape is a weapon of war with devastating results.
It is not just women who bear the scars of sexual violence; it holds entire communities hostage. Women cannot safely leave their homes to access water, gather firewood or visit the market. Children and teachers cannot safely go to school. Reprisals fuels further conflict.
Long after armed conflict has ended, survivors continue to experience physical injuries, psychological trauma and social stigma. Guilt, shame and anger tears apart relationships.
Individuals are unable to carry out normal activities amidst their memories. And violence against neighbors or family members can become so entrenched that it’s considered a normal part of life.
Despite the recognition of the effect of armed conflict on women and girls, not enough is being done. Continuing violence, impunity, poverty, cultural and social stigma, and a lack of resources and political will all play a role in preventing women and girls from having the protection, health and psychological services and legal redress they deserve.
Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo
we are supporting raped women and widows financially