Sexual Violence Survivors/"City of Joy"
Independent Films, Health, Web Series, Women
Charlize Theron, (Academy Award Actress-"Monster"), and Eve Ensler, (Theatre-"Vagina Monologues")were two of special guests who spoke at opening ceremony for new village, "City of Joy," in the Democratic Republic of Congo specifically built for survivors of sexual violence as part of effort to enhance security, recovery and empowerment.
UNICEF's Country Representative Philippe Heffinck also added a critical point to the effort by reminding of the "rule of law" as a part of the re-empowerment and recovery. Perpetrators must be prosecuted for the most recent crimes. The DRC has had a long history of same crimes being repeated against new and old victims by the same and new generation of perpetrators. The numbers are so big as to be almost unbelievable-80,000 victims assisted by UNICEF, many or most children, in 8 of the DRC's 11 provinces.
Transcripts / Production notes / Scripts
On 4 February, the City of Joy, a V-Day and Foundation Panzi initiative supported by UNICEF opened in Bukavu, South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The City of Joy is a revolutionary new community for survivors of gender based violence, and each year, it will provide 180 women with group therapy, self-defense training, comprehensive sexual education, drama and economic empowerment.
SOUNDBITE (French) Denis Mukwege, Director, Panzi Hospital:
“As its name suggests, the City of Joy is a place created and executed to provide survivors of sexual violence a new opportunity to turn their pain to power, to take a new start in life, to forget their sad past, to take back their places in the social network for a better future within their society.”
In eastern DRC, sexual violence is used as a weapon of war as it ravages the lives of thousands of girls and women. To take the advocacy on gender based violence at a higher level, the opening of the City of joy saw the participation of Hollywood movie stars, such as UN Messenger of Peace and V-Day supporter Charlize Theron.
SOUNDBITE (English) Charlize Theron, Messenger of Peace, United Nations:
“We are so proud to be here today, in this movement, in this country, supporting the women of the Congo. We’re turning their pain into power”
The City of Joy marks the next chapter in V-Day and UNICEF’s ongoing campaign, “Stop Raping Our Greatest Resource: Power to the Women and Girls of the DRC.” It will provide a powerful platform for Congolese women to turn their pain into power and become leaders in their communities.
SOUNDBITE (English) Eve Ensler, Founder, V-DAY:
“In my life, I’ve been to many war-torn countries, I’ve been to 60 countries and I’ve listened to stories of raped and violated women around the world, but nothing in my experience compared to the atrocities and suffering that were going on in the Congo. ‘Jambo Mamas’ (in Kiswahili, ‘hi women’), you are the strongest women and I promise you, City of Joy will the place where the women of Congo turn the pain to power”
Over 17,000 sexual violence incidents were reported to UNFPA in 2009, 50 percent of which involved children. In August 2010, more than 200 women were raped by an armed group in Walikale, North Kivu. And most recently, the Congolese national army is accused of having raped over 30 women in Fizi, south Kivu. UNICEF condemns such crimes.
SOUNDBITE (English) Philippe Heffinck, Representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, UNICEF:
“UNICEF applauds the efforts of law and order to carry out arrests following the New Years Day attack in South Kivu, and we encourage justice to be pursued with respect for due process and the human dignity of all involved.”
In 2010, UNICEF gave care to more than 16,000 survivors of sexual violence, including almost 9,000 children. In the past five years, UNICEF assisted over 80,000 individuals after an incident of sexual violence, in eight of the 11 provinces of DRC, mostly in the east where conflicts and displacement continue.
Year of Production: 2011
Length: 2:30 mins.
Sexual Violence Survivors/"City of Joy" by DiplomaticallyIncorrect is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 License.
- Muhamed Sacirbey, UNTV
- Susan Sacirbey