Help the healing beg in
groups in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
have raped tens of thousands of women, in systematic attacks
marked by extreme brutality.
survivors of rape have long-term and sometimes fatal injuries
and illnesses. Most women who have been raped suffer nightmares
and flashbacks. Abandonment by husbands and discrimination
by communities, because of the stigma attached to rape,
leave them displaced, destitute and isolated.
years or warfare, the health care system in the east is
in ruins. Yet despite peace agreements and an improving
security situation in many areas, no coordinated effort
has been made to begin the rehabilitation of hospitals
and health centres. Local women's and human rights organizations
have responded with compassionate and positive initiatives,
but are wholly unsupported by the government.
lack of any comprehensive national and international response
means that many thousands of rape survivors are receiving
no assistance at all. Many continue to die needlessly
because of this indifference. The DRC government and international
community must act quickly to establish decent health
care programmes for survivors of rape and other human