“To better understand the realities which face the survivors of sexual violence and also measures the local, national and international responses to gender-based violence,”  These were the words used by Dr. Jill Biden to illustrate the purpose of the visit of the U.S. delegation to the Panzi Hospital this Saturday, July 5, 2014

During her visit she heard, heroic stories of raped women who have become community activists against sexual violence. “I caught the AIDS virus after being raped. Following my medical treatment, I started farming to generate income with a $10 micro-credit. I cultivated a field, and after a few years I have acquired my own field. I am now the owner of a $8,000 home in the city of Bukavu “reflected one survivor.

For Dr. Denis Mukwege,  the director of Panzi Hospital, the arrival of Dr. Jill Biden demonstrates that the international community supports the women of the Democratic Republic of Congo in their fight for justice. “We must remain positive. Everyone must take their responsibility in hand and fight against this violence. “He said

Various other key messages were sent to the U.S. government reflecting the need for collaboration and high level advocacy. This is among other things:

The United States must contribute to ending impunity and rape of women in eastern DRC” Thérèse Kulungu, Panzi Hospital

The media must keep track of commitments and other statements made ​​to end sexual violence. A holistic approach to the management of survivors of such violence must be put into practice, “Chouchou Namegabe AFEM-SK

“The partnership between ECI-AFEM-Panzi is essential to answering the questions faced by  women and communities in Congo. Chouchou Namangabe and Dr Mukwege have both supported the statement of Secretary of State John Kerry at the World Summit to end sexual violence. Impunity for perpetrators of sexual violence must end. It remains important to work closely with local partners on a holistic approach to better meet the needs of survivors of sexual violence. “Baraka Kasali, Eastern Congo Initiative / DRC

Dr. Jill Biden added that nearly 13 000 people have already benefited from U.S. assistance in terms of medical and psychological assistance, and nearly 4,000 women have received legal assistance. However, she is aware that much remains to be done.

Douce NAMWEZI N’IBAMBA

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