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Story Publication logo December 17, 2008

Rehabilitating rape victims and families in Congo


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The 2006 election in the Democratic Republic of Congo was supposed to usher in a new period of peace...


Michael J. Kavanagh and Taylor Krauss highlight efforts to rehabilitate rape victims and their families in eastern Congo, presenting a short video about the ventures of one counseling organization.

Cases of sexual violence skyrocket during and after battles and along frontlines. Armed groups are deeply aware of the stigma surrounding rape and they exploit it in order to destroy families and bring women — and men — to their knees. Because they are both perpetrators and victims, more and more women's organizations work with men, too, to educate and counsel them.

In fact, Georgina and André met with counselors from an extraordinary organization called SOPROP (Solidarite Pour la Promotion Sociale et la Paix) that helps victims of torture and their families. SOPROP offered couple's counseling to Georgina and André, and though in this case they still separated, SOPROP's efforts have encouraged hundreds of other families to stay together, empowering the husbands to care for the women in their lives without turning their backs.

Lisa Biagiotti and Bijan Rezvani of helped produce this short interview with SOPROP's Lydie Suatula to highlight the work SOPROP does in Congo.

Many groups do wonderful work with women who've been raped — SOPROP and Synergie des Femmes from this piece are two examples.

You can also support Eve Ensler's grassroots movement of women — the V-day campaign — as well as Heal Africa. Human Rights Watch and the ENOUGH project also do invaluable research and advocacy on behalf of women and all victims of torture in Congo and elsewhere in the world.


Three women grouped together: an elderly woman smiling, a transwoman with her arms folded, and a woman holding her headscarf with a baby strapped to her back.


Gender Equality

Gender Equality

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