That night the Interahamwe, a Hutu ethnic rebel group from Rwanda believed to have carried out the 1994 genocide came in large numbers and attacked many villages. They terrorized the villages, stealing everything they could find. They went door-to-door, raping women and girls. They arrived at the house where we were staying, along with the woman of the house and a little girl of about 13 years old. They told us that if we cry, they would kill us. They raped the three of us, but they did not rape the little girl.

My husband was away throughout this whole ordeal, although we were in contact. I returned to Bukavu, where my kids were staying with my twin sister. When I got there I was treated at Panzi Hospital, and the doctor told me that I was pregnant. I confided in my husband's little brother, who wrote to my husband to tell him.

My husband sent me a message saying that he could not and would not share a woman with the Interahamwe. Three months later, he sent $20 for the kids. I gave birth to a baby boy.

In May through June of 2004, another war broke out in Bukavu. I fled to my aunt's house, where I thought I would be secure. Unfortunately, the military men of Laurent Nkunda, who had taken control of Bukavu, came to the house and raped my twin sister, my cousin, and me.

I was traumatized and depressed from the first rape, particularly after birth. But I had started a small business selling used clothes in the market and was starting to put food on the table at least once a day. I was finding strength to move forward with my life.

After being raped the second time, I'm lost. I wonder if this war has been a war against me. I have a constant migraine. I have lost hope in life, but I have to live for my children. I have to raise them. I know that I should go and get tested, but I am afraid to take the HIV/AIDS test, for fear that I may be positive.


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