Brutal sexual violence in the DR Congo
MAGNA operates in DR Congo also a clinic for victims of sexual violence in the Hospital Kintambo.
DR Congo is the largest country on the African continent, often mentioned in the media in connection with the war conflicts in the eastern part of the country. This also contributed to the fact that DR Congo does not have a functioning health system, social services, and the overall infrastructure. People experience poverty, malnutrition, the country has many people illiterate, and the last but not least issue is safety.
One of the big problems in the country is the mass sexual violence, which is often used as a weapon in military conflicts. It is destroying the victims physically, mentally and often with economic impact for the whole family. Women and girls are exposed not only to sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV, but also unwanted pregnancy, huge and persistent emotional injury or refusal of the own family and community. Perpetrators cause the women repeatedly permanent physical damages and mutilations with different things.
Each year around 30 thousand assaults are recorded, and it is assumed that the numbers are much higher as many cases are not reported. DR Congo is a patriarchal society, in which women have less importance than men. The rapists remain mostly unpunished. According to the law it is considered as a criminal act, but the courts and the police do not function.
“Women are mostly assaulted in front of their children or a group of militants, who rotate one by one; women are mentally abused as well. They force them to repeat various disgraceful and degrading statements, keep them tied or in difficult positions, beat them constantly, fracture their bones, or maltreat and repeat to them that they are nothing, just the food for all men, do not have the right to live as a human being. If the woman is raped, it is usually not only one time. She is already “dirty” and even on the way to the hospital it happens that she is raped again. The medical and psychological consequences are enormous”. Says about these terrible acts Andrea Stránska, Magna project coordinator in DR Congo.
However, the perpetrators often do not make differences in the age of their victims, cases of raped old women and even small children are recorded.
MAGNA operates in DR Congo since 2009 and currently operates also a clinic for victims of sexual violence in the Hospital Kintambo, where provides for victims medical and psychosocial assistance. The project monthly registers over 40 new cases of rape and the clinic is the only such institution for the region of 4,2 million people.
Magna Children at risk operates in DR Congo since 2009.