Fighting The Silence

At 7:00 PM, Thursday, September 18, Lockerbie Central United Methodist and Earth House will be hosting Ms. Valerie Masumbuko for an evening of film and discussion.

A native of Burundi and a specialist in international peace and conflict resolution,  Masumbuko will be presenting Fighting the Silence, a documentary that tells the story of ordinary Congolese citizens that are working to change a society that has been victimized by a terrible war and, as a result, large scale sexual violence.

Though the war “officially” ended four years ago, the conflict is still taking a toll on eastern Congo.  The war so far has been the deadliest in the history of Africa and is the greatest humanitarian crisis since World War II. Hundreds of thousand of women and girls were raped during and after the war.  Only now that the country is formally at peace are the consequences of the brutality becoming truly visible.

The film gives voice to thousands of other survivors and their families who have chosen to hide their grief and remain silent for fear of being rejected by their families and community. Girls and women survivors tell of the brutality they experienced. Married couples openly talk about the pain they endure. Husbands talk of the pressures that led them to abandon their wives and why they agreed to take them back. A father explains why he has given up on his daughter’s future and how he wishes he could afford to take her rapist to court. Soldiers and policemen share their (shocking) views about why rape continues to flourish despite the war having officially ended four years ago.

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