"I know how to calm myself now when all the images start coming backā€”time and my work have been healing forces."

Marie, who was raped on two separate occasions, responded by starting an organization to help victims of sexual violence. "Many of the women ended up with HIV/AIDS," she says. "I was lucky not to. But this helped me realize that I must have courage because there are others who need me."

Now Marie's family is getting into the healing act. Her husband, who left her after the first attack, returned two years later, and their relationship is much improved. "Before, a day would not go by without reference to my rape, but he no longer speaks badly to me," she says, noting that he's had to deal with his failure to protect her. "And he has now completely committed himself to helping other men understand their own trauma. Since we started this work, 93 men who had left their raped wives decided to come back after counseling." Marie's daughter Aline, raped at age 8 along with her mother, is determined to study human rights law.

To learn about how you can help women in the Congo and all over the world, visit


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