For those who have been following my blog, then you know that I have been writing and researching about what is going on in my country, D.R Congo. I mean, I am talking about women who are not only getting raped but are taken as sex slaves for months without clothes, women who are getting shot in their vagina, women who have had objects inserted into them such as broken bottles and guns. Imagine. Women who are left to die with the disease of Fistula, which causes non stop urine leakage and damage in the inside walls. This month I was invited to an organization Voice of the Congo, to read a couple of stories from women survivors who have endured these indescribable hardships. I mean, I have printed and read 100 pages about this and imagine sitting in class reading this. (Yeah, I was so not paying attention to my professor that day)So below, I have pasted a few stories just to give you an idea of what it’s like to not only live in Eastern Congo, but to be a WOMAN in Eastern Congo.
Congo has been labeled as the worst place in the world to be a WOMAN.
Story # 1
“I’m 14 years old and I have no mother no father. One day the hutu soldiers broke into our home and killed my family one by one. After killing my parents they took 6 of us to the forest. They took my parents’ blood, and forced us to drink it. They tied us up with a rope and started to insert objects inside of us and I didn’t know what was going to happen. Then they started raping me first in front of everyone then everyone else one by one. When they got tired, they found some sticks and started to insert them inside of us again. After that experience it was hard for me to walk again. I got raped by 4 soldiers. Now I have a child to take care of, with no parents and I don’t know if I can handle it.”
Story # 2
“That day we were coming from Bukavu. When we reached there some soldiers stopped the vehicle and made us get out. When soldiers stop vehicles like that, it’s to rob the passengers, but they often take the opportunity to rape the women too. I was with five other women, and we were all raped, there at the side of the road. Then they gathered us together again and told us that they were taking us to their commander. So, like that, we were led off to their camp in the forest. Since there were six of us, when we were presented to the commander, he made the first choice of which woman he would take. Then the other officers made their choice: each officer took a woman. When it’s the commander who choses you, the others can’t touch you. But when he’s had enough of you, he hands you on to others to rape you. I spent 2 months there. Every day. Each day I was raped by two soldiers.Well, when the soldiers were tired with me, I was put into a hut which they used as a kind of prison. There, the prison guards would rape us. We spent about one month in there. They gave us haricot beans. We had to cook them ourselves. Only at night time; not during the day. For me, the most difficult time was to be raped by so many different soldiers, every day. And then I was almost entirely naked throughout that time: For two months. So I had to use a piece of cloth to cover myself. My husband threw me out as soon as I got home. Divorced me. For the moment, I’m on my own.”
“When I remember what happened, it hurts me, it hurts me to my heart. It was in 2000, the second of June 2000. I was 24 at the time. I was going to the funeral of my sister-in-law.
While I was on the road — it ran through the forest — I met a soldier who ordered me to sleep with him. Well, when I refused he raped me. After that he tortured me. I don’t know how many bullets he fired at me, because it was many, many…he shot me many times in my privates. Then he ran off. When he ran off, I was left there without any help for at least three hours… three hours went by like that. The lady I’d been [walking] with, she came back to find me. So, when she found me where she’d left me with the soldier, she picked me up and we went to find other people who could help us. It was around one in the afternoon when I was shot, but I didn’t have any help until 4 or 5 o’clock. I woke up in the hospital. There, well they don’t even have bandages – there is nothing, absolutely nothing there. But I stayed there…At least, that is, they helped me with my blood. All, all my organs were damaged. Yes all of them. Everything was messed up inside. There, at Panzi, they tried to repair things but I was left with a problem of a fistula, and nothing could be done. I was permanently incontinent. I couldn’t do anything to control myself, to control my urine. The doctor at Panzi hospital tried everything possible, but it didn’t work.”
Apparently, people have forgotten the value of a woman, so to close out, below is a quote that talks about that.
The Hebrew Talmud says:
“Be very careful if you make a woman cry, because God counts her tears. Every tear a woman shed is equivalent of a man’s sacrifices in life. The woman came from a man’s rib — not on his feet to be stepped on; not on his head to be superior, but on his side to be equal; under his arms to be protected and near his heart to be loved.”