“They forced us to rape,“ Sexual Violence in Kasai, DRC

Pitchou* was fleeing an attack on his village in Kasai Central province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), when he was captured by an armed group. He says he was tortured and forced to rape older women, whom he calls “mothers” of the community. Months after Pitchou escaped and arrived in the city of Kananga, he learned that he could receive mental health care from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) at Kananga Provincial Reference Hospital. MSF teams provide psychological care in group sessions and provide one-on-one counseling for the most traumatized patients. MSF treats an average of more than 200 victims of sexual violence per month in the hospital. (*Name changed to protect anonymity.)