Reference : V-P-CD-E-00931
Date : 26/01/2009
Caption : Kibati camp. A counsellor, listens to a rape victim at an ICRC-supported Maison d'ecoute or ''listening house".
Photographer : HAVIV, Ron
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : reserved users only
Copyright : ICRC/VII
Description : The "listening house" is one of many that were set up all over Eastern Congo in recent years. This was the response of civil society, mainly of women associations, to the "epidemic of rape" that has engulfed the region over the past 15 years, in the wake of its countless conflicts. The ICRC supports 33 listening houses, both in North and South Kivu.

In these modest structures, victims find counsellors who listen to them, bringing both material and psychological support. A small room offers beds to rest, and post rape kits are available on the spot, or at a nearby hospital. If administered within 72 hours, the drugs minimize the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases like HIV-AIDS.

Rebuilding the woman's self-esteem is a longer and much more arduous endeavour, which takes months at a minimum. Often, mediators have also to go and explain husbands and other members of the family that rejecting the woman is a senseless and cruel second punishment. When they do not succeed, the listening house offers a longer term shelter to the woman and, sometimes, to her offspring.
Original material : digital
Resolution : 5616x3744
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour