Angelina Jolie: Messages for actress from rape victims


A global summit in London is aiming to tackle the widespread use of sexual violence in conflict zones.

Ahead of the summit the BBC travelled to Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, to ask those affected what they wanted out of the summit, which is being attended by Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie, special envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Rosetta: 'Make rape a war crime'

image copyrightTeddy Mazina

Rosetta, 44, was gang-raped in 1999 during Burundi's civil war.

The perpetrators arrived at her parents' home, put a hood over her head and raped her repeatedly. She says she's unsure how many times she was raped, or by how many men.

"When rapists are released from prisons and they re-enter the villages where we live, they intimidate us by saying: 'Did you get what you wanted?'

"My call to world leaders attending this conference is to ensure that rape is named a war crime with tough consequences so that no other vulnerable person is attacked the way we were during the war."

Lucy: 'Punishments must be tough'

image copyrightTeddy Mazina

Lucy was raped during Burundi's civil war, which lasted from 1993 to 2005. She was 12 years old when three attackers put a hood over her head and attacked her as she walked home from school.

"In Burundi, rapists often don't serve their full term, which is traumatic for us. So we would ask world leaders and celebrities who are attending the conference in London is to make sure just and tough punishments and sentences are handed out to the guilty."

Fidela: 'We need support'

Fidela, 37 - pictured on the far left - lives in Burundi and has six children to support. She is one of many rape victims who have faced discrimination because they have been raped.

"My call to world leaders would be to ask them to support vulnerable rape victims like me.

"If the international community could provide us more support to rebuild our lives, that would be helpful."

Faida Maria: 'Men need to be told to stop'

Faida Maria, from DR Congo, was walking home with three other girls when they were ambushed by two men.

"The younger girls managed to run away to the village but I didn't have the strength to flee and they took me. They raped me and stabbed me," she said.

"I didn't wake up for three hours after that. I was 12 years old.

"I think that in order to end sexual violence here there needs to be more awareness raising campaigns for men, through radio programmes. The programmes would tell men to stop raping women."

For more testimony and BBC reports from the Burundi and DR Congo, visit the BBC World Service on Soundcloud.

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