Rwanda - Book of 17 Survivor Testimonials - Sexual Violence:
"The Men Who Killed Me"
In the hundred days of genocide that ravaged Rwanda between April and July 1994, an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 women and girls were raped. No one was spared. Grandmothers were raped in the presence of their grandchildren; young girls watched the massacre of their families before being taken as sex slaves. To a lesser extent, boys and men also fell victim to sexual violence.
Fifteen years after the Rwandan genocide, The Men Who Killed Me features testimonials from seventeen survivors. Through their narratives and portraits, sixteen women and one man bear witness to the crimes committed against hundreds of thousands of others. In their strength and courage, they challenge the stigma of surviving sexual violence and living with HIV/AIDS (an astonishing 70 per cent of survivors are HIV positive).
All the authors’ proceeds from this book will go to Mukomeze, a charitable organization established to improve the lives of girls and women who survived sexual violence in the Rwandan genocide. Mukomeze coordinates the sponsorship of individual women, ensuring they receive medical assistance, including antiretroviral treatment for those who are living with HIV, health education, trauma counselling, support for income generating activities, and where applicable, assistance with their education. While all survivors featured in this book are beneficiaries of Solace Ministries, sponsorship by Mukomeze ensures they receive more comprehensive care, treatment and support. Mukomeze will prioritize the sponsorship of survivors featured in this book.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Foreword by Stephen Lewis
1. The Roots of Sexual Violence in Rwanda
2. Testimonials (excerpts from 3 of 17 testimonials)
“When I reflect on my lost childhood, I have a feeling of such extreme sadness. I lament whenever I remember all the dreams that I once cherished and are now forever lost. I lament when I remember all those men who repeatedly raped me during the genocide, those same men who broke and destroyed me and every single aspect of my life. Those same men who killed me, slowly but very effectively.”
“I was only twelve years old when I was brutally raped during the genocide, at different times by different men. Because of the events that occurred in those months, I never got the chance to live my life as I had wished …. I became a woman without even having a chance to be a girl. I did not know anything about sex; my parents never explained anything to me. I was not prepared to become a mother and take care of a baby.”
“I want you to know that the horrors people inflicted during the genocide are more than any human being can endure. For a long time after, I despised myself for what had happened to me. I hated everything that surrounded me, because it reminded me of what I had lost. I used to think that I would rather be dead than living with HIV, but I have received comfort from a charity that also provides me with antiretroviral treatment and food. I know now that I can continue to live with HIV.”
3. Life after “Death”
Afterword by Eve Ensler
What You Can Do
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