“How am I going to live now?” Rape in eastern DRC

“I went to the field to search for my bag. I had found my things when I saw several men coming towards us. They stopped us and said ‘Mama, come here!’ My poor children . . .  I spoke to them quietly: ‘If they kill me, you have to run away. You mustn’t cry or shout. If you shout, you will die.’ But my 12-year-old son started to shout, ‘Mama!’

The man came up to him and hit him, so that he fell down. The men took my money, my bag, and my telephone. One of them left with my telephone. My eldest child, who was on the ground, got up and ran away. The second followed, I saw him leave. Then the men pushed me and threw me to the ground. . .  

I got up with difficulty. At the moment of leaving, I saw a girl watching me. I knew her, so I said to her, ‘I’m hurt.’ I thought I was going to die. I didn’t want my husband to know what had happened. He is very jealous. My fear was that he would leave me. I don’t have anyone to help me. My father is already dead. How am I going to live now?

I am scared of disease and having caught AIDS, but no one can help me anymore. I don’t know if my mind will return to normal. Can it ever go back to normal after that?”