Congo is the most dangerous place on the planet to be a women or a girl.
Since 1996, sexual violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been used to torture and humiliate women and girls and destroy families. Hundreds of thousands of women and girls have been raped since the conflict began. In addition to the severe psychological impact, sexual violence leaves many survivors with genital lesions, traumatic fistulae, severed and broken limbs, unwanted pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. Survivors are regularly ostracized and abandoned by their families and communities.
In 2007, V-Day launched the Congo Campaign, a grassroots effort that is:
- Raising awareness about the level of gender violence in the DRC
- Advocating for change on local, provincial, national and international levels
- Providing support to activists in the DRC and around the globe who are working to end the atrocities and change perceptions about gender and sexual violence
- Supporting the City of Joy in Bukavu, South Kivu, a revolutionary center for healed women survivors, providing them with leadership development, educational and income-generating opportunities
V-Day will continue to focus on this groundbreaking campaign for years to come, until the violence stops.