One evening in 2014, at around 8pm, there was a lot of noise outside Pauline’s home.
Her husband went out to see what was happening, and he was captured by a gang of armed rebels who were attacking the village.
Pauline's husband was raped by the gang, then they castrated him and cut out his heart. Pauline could hear him crying as they killed him.
Six men pushed Pauline into the house and raped her. Her oldest child, Justin, witnessed the attack.
I was crying, ashamed, and had no strength to ask for help.Pauline
At midnight, once all the soldiers had gone, a group of people found Pauline and carried her two hours on foot to the nearest health centre.
When they arrived it was crowded with people, and they discovered that all the doctors had fled. In the morning, when the doctors returned, Pauline was treated for her injuries. Pauline became pregnant as a result of the attack, but the child died.
I received psychosocial counselling; they told me it wasn’t my fault and helped me survive. I have become a human.Pauline
Through SCIAF's partners in DR Congo, Pauline received counselling and was given the means to take out a loan to start a business. She now has money to eat, save, and pay for school fees for her children.
Pauline was also given a goat and trained in farming techniques so that she can grow vegetables such as cabbage and aubergines in a plot near her home. She sells her produce at the local market, and now Pauline and her children can eat three nutritious meals a day.
Pauline helps other women in her community who have suffered from sexual violence - she speaks to those who our partners cannot yet reach. She helps them put into words what has happened to them, and tries to help them recover.
Pauline still needs to find a home for her and her children. She's living at her friend’s house at the moment as her home was destroyed.
In DR Congo, sexual violence is a huge problem. Please donate to help women like Pauline.
Through SCIAF, survivors of sexual violence will receive urgent medical care, trauma counselling and legal help to bring their attackers to justice.