Survivors of war rape in DR Congo tell of their harrowing experiences.

Bwalikwa Nicolas, 21 years old, was forced to rape his older sister.
Mawazo Patience, 32 years old, was raped three times in a two month period.
Nzigire Chantal, 18 years old, was raped in the eyes of her parents and brothers.

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Safe World Field Partner, COFAPRI, encourages Nyangezi parents to be open about sexual issues with their children.

Nyangezi is situated in the eastern part of DR Congo…  It consists of more than 13 villages, and it is here COFAPRI decided to start with its activities of helping women and girl victims of war and domestic violence.

In most African countries, including the DRC, sexual issues remain a taboo discussion between parents and children, and even grown-up people are not allowed to discuss the issue in public.

This belief generates dire consequences, such as that some women and girls who are sexually violated, fail to report the issue.

COFAPRI believes that this should be overcome, and that people should move with time…

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Safe World’s DR Congo correspondent, Mugisho, reports:

‘The violators are people who are well known by the leaders, and are often also known to the victims.

This gives shame to the whole nation, the families, and the survivors of rape.

It is in this context that very recently on March 31, 2011 – again in South Kivu, that the village of Kikoze was a theatre of rape, of women and girls…

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Armed groups and even government soldiers, attack local communities, loot, rape, and kidnap women and children – making them work as sexual slaves in the bush where they hide.

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“With our very limited means, we try to do something, though little.
We are now paying school fees for four children, two of them were street children and the other two were born from rape.”
COFAPRI – Safe World Field Partner in DR Congo.

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“They failed to protect us”, said one man, who watched as his daughters were raped in front of him. “We need more than this”

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