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Baroness visits faith groups caring for rape surviors in DRC

by Hannah Tooley

The Anglican Church of Congo as well as the Christian group Tearfund have been working together to tackle sexual violence in the country.

DRC has been plagued by civil war for decades and earlier in the year dozens were killed in protests against the president.

Baroness Anelay, Minister of State with responsibility for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Prime Minister's Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict, met with the Community Action Group who help rape survivors to report crimes and get support.

The Community Action Group is made up of faith leaders from the different religious groups in the country as well as local leaders.

It also works to reintroduce those who have experienced traumatic rapes back into their communities.

Mukulima Balume, a Muslim member of the Community Action Group said: "It is not a question of faith, it is about coming together to address this problem of sexual violence."

One woman who has survived sexual violence said: "I can safely say that my life would not be what it is now, had it not been for the Community Action Group members and their interventions and support to me when I was rejected, afraid and alone."

Baroness Anelay thanked the women for their bravery in speaking out: "Your voices have been heard, and may your voices stay strong."

The delegation also visited the homes of two women who have been affected by violence in the community.

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