07 Jul Information Service for Young Women Survivors of Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Democratic Republic of Congo
According to statistics commonly used in the country, 50 women and girls are raped every day in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These victims of sexual violence are often left with physical scars or diseases that require medical attention. However, the fear of being stigmatized by their communities and sometimes even their own families frequently prevents women and girl survivors of sexual violence from seeking necessary assistance. The project created a free information service for survivors of rape and sexual violence in local languages which is accessible by mobile phone. Survivors who call into the service are able to obtain information on how to seek assistance through the criminal justice system, and related information on accessing organizations that provide support to survivors. Users of the servicealso have access to free counselling and psychosocial support. Making the service available through mobile phones helps ensure confidentiality and protects the privacy of survivors. Si Jeunesse Savait (SJS) was founded in 2001 by a group of communication students and people working in the Congolese media to create original programming, aimed at young people. In 2004, the organization expanded its focus to reproductive and sexual rights, the promotion of information and communication technology, and entrepreneurship.