The truth lies, as usual, somewhere in between.
“I have no hope for the future.”
When they let me go, I made my way home to the village, but my husband refused to let me in. “I don’t want you in the house when you’ve been with those men,” he said. I begged him to forgive me, but he refused. At first I was very unhappy, but then I was angry. I mean, nothing that had happened was my fault. So I went to the police and they sent some men round to try and talk to my husband. He pretended to agree to take me back, but then he sold everything we owned, found a new woman and moved to Goma.
At first I was very unhappy, but then I was angry. I mean, nothing that had happened was my fault.
I work here in the city carrying things on my back and my head. Sometimes I have the chance to sell juice and jam for a woman who sells things. I can earn a little money that way but it’s not nearly enough.
I have six children and four of them live with me, but I can’t afford to let them go to school. I rent a house but I can’t pay the rent. I’ve already been evicted three times in two years, and today my children told me that the landlord had come round wanting to be paid. I don’t have any money so I’ll be evicted again. I have no hope for the future, not for me or for my children.
Maternal deaths: Just over 900 deaths per l00,000 births ****
Number of children/woman: 5.2 (2011)
Abortion legislation: Abortion is forbidden, even when the mother’s life is at risk.
Law against rape within marriage: No
Violence against women in close relationships: 1.8 million women will be raped during their lifetime. Congo is the second most dangerous country in the world for a woman to live in.