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Women of DR Congo and coronavirus

Thousands of women in the Democratic Republic of Congo need your help right now.

Katana hospital

Decades of conflict and chaos in DR Congo have left a legacy of brutality and lawlessness in many areas. Fuelled by control for precious metals including those used in our smart phones, armed groups use sexual violence and the threat of HIV to terrify and control communities. Rape is a weapon of war, used to show power and to shame and humiliate victims.

Tens of thousands of women have been left injured and traumatised. Survivors are stigmatised and even disowned by their husbands, families and communities. This has to stop.

We are working to end sexual violence in DR Congo and thanks to your support we have helped thousands of families to recover and build a future.

However, after everything these communities have been through, they are now also facing coronavirus.

The threat is immense. Without clean running water, many of the women, girls and their families will not be able to protect themselves. Many rely on farming to earn a living and feed themselves. Under a lockdown this is not possible.

Years of widespread sexual violence has also meant that many women and girls we're helping are suffering from HIV and will struggle to get treatment. Their immune system is also weak - making them more susceptible to coronavirus.

Shame

and fear are inflicted upon women through sexual violence.

SGBV

400,000

women and girls are raped each year in DR Congo.

World

DR Congo

has been called the rape capital of the world.

Sylvia's story

When rebels stormed Sylvia’s village, she was abducted at gunpoint. She was held captive for four years and witnessed terrible atrocities.

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Angela's story

Angela's home was attacked by rebels. Her husband was shot dead, and she was raped by nine men in front of her children.

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Lisa's story

Lisa has albinism and also suffers from other health disorders. She was raped by a stranger and now has a young son.

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Watch now: Survivors' stories