In practice there is almost total exemption from punishment for the majority of human rights abuse in Congo, not least for violence against women.

Rafaela

“He’s changed. He’s a new man and I love him.”


Name:
Rafaela
Age: 24

I broke up with him several times and went back to live with my mother, but I always went back to him. He was so full of regret, and I love him.


Mapendo

“My husband screamed when they raped me. So they shot him.”  


Name:
Mapendo
Age:
33

My husband, who was standing there tied up and was forced to watch the rape, screamed out. So they shot him. There was a big hole in his back. I tried to break free but one of the rapists stabbed me in the foot with his bayonet.


Blessing

“I was only three the first time someone took my pants off and put his finger inside me.” 


Name:
Blessing
Age:
27


Javiera

“He laid the shame on me by saying – Look what you made me do.”


Name:
Javiera
Age: 33


Elizabeth

“I asked him to forgive me for making him beat me.”


Name:
Elizabeth
Age:
23


Rosângela

“I was a victim, but I’m not a victim now.”


Name:
Rosângela
Age: 42


Shazia

“All I want is to marry the man who raped me.”


Name:
Shazia
Age:
15


Nicole

“My abusers will win if I don’t make something of my life.”


Name:
Nicole
Age:
63


Evgenia

 “I was unconscious for three days once after he banged my head against the toilet.”


Name
: Evgenia
Age: 26


Love

“I became a child soldier to avenge my father’s death.” 


Name:
Love
Age:
22


Martha

“I have to have money so I can protect my child.”

Name: Martha
Age: 14

It was dark. I learned that I could walk into the town centre to get something to eat and clean clothes but I always went back to the railway station.  After a while I was arrested there and locked up. My father came and got me and took me back to Minya but I ran away again. I went back to the railway station and the boys and girls there. I was better off there.

I don’t know what the future holds.