Entry Title: "
Tears in the Congo"
Korea, Republic of
Category: Professional, Feature Story
Entry Description: After a decade-long armed conflict, more than 5,4 million people are displaced in IDP camps and villages in Democratic Republic of the Congo. By 2008, there were 800,000 IDPs in North Kivu province alone.
Congolese people - especially women- suffer from the worst sexual violence in the world, whereas average 14,245 rape cases a year and almost 40 cases daily are reported in the country by UNFPA in 2008.
Women get raped in farms, jungles, homes, schools, and even inside IDP camps. The women are raped and killed mostly by armed rebels and government soldiers, however, civilian rape cases are also on the rise.
Many of them suffer from physical condition called "traumatic fistula" which are often caused by brutal gang rapes that leave victims with no control over urination or defecation and, therefore, spurned by all.
Victims not only suffer from physical damages, but also from psycho-social consequences. Many of them were poor peasants, and after surgeries and years of hospitalizations, most of them find it hard to readjust their life back in the villages. Some of the married women's husbands remarried fearing possible diseases the women get transmitted. Even if the women were not infected, they were shunned by men and the families of the community. Fathers disowned pregnant teenage daughters. Without husbands and proper jobs, what laid ahead of them was the harshness of the life when they return home.