TESTIMONIAL – Celine, 21, was a victim of a rape in the city of Goma. Since then, her life is a real nightmare. Thanks to a multisectoral support, she overcame her fears and now believes in a better future!
Victim of rape and rejected by her family
“In 2015, I was raped. I was 19 years old and I lived at my older brother’s house in Goma. When I realized what had happened to me, I cried. What will I say to my family and my fiancé? It was embarrassing. Nobody will believe my story. I cried for three days, and on the fourth day I told my sister-in-law.
When my brother heard the story, he refused to continue paying my school fees and sent me back to my parents’ home in Butembo.
From medical care to psychological care…
Three months later, I did not have my period: I was pregnant. My sisters took me to a care center for victims of sexual violence where I was assisted until my delivery. Everything was taken care of: baby’s clothes, medical expenses, etc.
Crying had become my daily thing. Everyone hated me: `How could you do such a thing? You are bringing shame to our family. You are breaking your engagement and therefore, we have to give back the dowry!’
I wanted to end my life because it did not make sense anymore. Thanks to the advice received from a women’s rights association, my crying was diminishing. I have been told that life goes on and that I should accept this baby that God has given to me. Today my baby is 1 year and 2 months old. I love my baby.
Socio-economic reintegration to prepare for the future
I dropped out of the fifth year of high school as my brother did not want to pay my school fees. To help me provide for my child and myself, I was given a used clothing bale to start a small business. Thankfully, this allowed for my child to grow up well and free from want. I also contribute to my family’s expenses, helping my mother and father.
I thank everyone who helps get us back on track!”
Giving hope to survivors of sexual and gender-based violence
With the support of UNICEF, the NGO SAFDF provides multi-sectoral care for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence: medical and psychosocial care, socio-economic reintegration, and legal and judicial assistance.
From January to October 2017, many cases were cared for, 924 victims were medically treated, 916 psychosocial cases, 311 legal cases, 194 cases for economic reintegration, and 8 cases of school reintegration.
- A holistic response to sexual violence in Ituri
- My commitment against gender-based violence
- Psychological support for victims of sexual violence
Translated from French by Dorsaf N. James
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