Victims of sexual violence: supporting families

Victims of sexual violence: supporting families

Children in the DRC suffer from violence in every area of their lives, whether it is within their family, in school or in their community. The country as a whole has one of the highest rates of child violence anywhere in the world.

A package to help rebuild lives

The Social Affairs Division of Equateur Province is helping the families of children affected by sexual violence, such as 17-year-old Bijoux who was abused by her uncle in January 2017.

“Ever since she was abused, my daughter has received medical care at the Bongisa Libota health clinic. The clinic is funded by UNICEF and the care given to victims of sexual violence is completely free. Before this, for the first three months, I had to take my daughter to the hospital every day, the cost of transport alone cost 2000 francs ($1.5) every day. It’s a lot of money for someone like me who doesn’t have an income”, explains Bijoux.

“To help me meet the costs, the Social Affairs Division helped me by offering me an AGR (Activité Génératrice de Revenus/ Income Generating Activity) package. I received two 45kg bags of flour, a 5 litre canister of oil, a 5kg bag of sugar, a 1kg bag of salt and a plastic bowl. I set up a small donut shop and by selling my donuts for 100 francs each I make about $5 a day”

Over the course of March 2017 the Social Affairs Division of Mbandaka provided similar support to 47 families affected by sexual violence, including some of the most at-risk children. This support, worth $10,000, was provided in the form of AGR packages and training to help the families set up small income generating activities.

Guaranteeing the protection of the most vulnerable children

UNICEF’s goal is to create an environment which will upholds the rights of children by strengthening formal and informal protection measures to prevent and respond to violence, exploitation and abuse. This can only be done by ensuring that vulnerable children are referred to essential social services (health, education and social protection).

Since UNICEF opened its office in Mbandaka in 2006, it has established a partnership with the Social Affairs Division that aims to guarantee the protection of the most vulnerable children. This multi-sector partnership aims to support unaccompanied children, child victims of sexual violence, children affected by extreme poverty and children in conflict with the law.

Translated from French by Illen Rowe

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Gwenn Dubourthoumieu

Gwenn Dubourthoumieu s’est intéressé à la photographie alors qu’il travaillait en Afrique pour des ONG humanitaires. Professionnel depuis avril 2010, son travail est régulièrement récompensé. Il travaille régulièrement pour UNICEF RDC en tant que consultant photographique.

Gwenn Dubourthoumieu became interested in photography while working in Africa for humanitarian NGOs. Professional since 2010, his work is regularly rewarded.  He's a photography consultant for UNICEF DRC.

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