Gender Based Sexual Violence: Churches Response in Eastern DRC
By Baliesima Kadukima Albert, Coordinator of the Health and HIV Program, Anglican Church of Congo
Sexual violence has become a characteristic of a number of societies in this world mainly in countries with conflicts. Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been ravaged by war and violence since the mid-1990s. Dozens of illegal armed groups and army units have been responsible for endless human rights abuses and widespread insecurity. Civilians carry the greatest burden of the conflict. Innocent people get attacked, abused, and killed by all sides. Women and girls are especially vulnerable to such attacks. In some countries, this ignoble practice is not linked to war. However in DRC, though not all cases of sexual violence are perpetrated by armed people, the majority of them (70% and above) are committed by armed combatants involved in successive and repeated wars that have been prevailing in eastern DR Congo.