A while back our portrait photographer robin de puy was in Congo photographing the victims of sexual violence. Since the war the rebels have been looting and raping their way through the country, especially in the east side which was named 'rape capital of the world' by the UN a few years back. Violence against women is seen as normal. Rape is still taboo; the women that are (often gang-)raped are cast off by their husband and family. In 2011 it was estimated that close to 2 million women have fallen victim to sexual violence.
Two months ago Robin met some of these victims in the Panzi hospital in Bukavu, who were treated by the hospital's founder Dr. Denis Mukwege. He works 18 hours a day, specializing in the treatment of women who have been gang-raped. Furaha, for example. She is 52 and eight of her ten children were murdered by rebels the night after they gang-raped her. She fled with her two youngest daughters and hid in the forest for days, without food. Her husband sold their house and piece of land, then got a new wife. She now resides in the hospital after having had surgery. "I fear the future. My heart hurts so much."
View all photos by Robin and read the interviews by Margot Jamnisek in the current issue of LINDA. To support Dr. Mukwege in his nobel work you can make a donation to: giro 999, Stichting Vluchteling.