In 2010, 14-year-old Tantine Ngomora was brutally raped by Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda while living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Unfortunately, the DR Congo is known as the rape capital of the world for its epidemic levels of sexual violence and is one of the poorest countries in the world.
Ngomora shared more about the traumatizing experience with the Daily Record.
She said, “He told me ‘Son of bitch, go home and don’t look back. If you dare you will get a bullet. When he finished raping me I was shocked. I felt that it was the end of my life. I can’t remember the walk back. At that time I had already lost my mind. My aunt started asking me where my uncle was and what I saw but I couldn’t answer any of her questions. When I got there I fainted and spent two days in a coma. It was only later that I informed my aunt that my uncle had been killed. They went to the bush to look for his corpse but it was already in a bad state.”
Tantine said that her uncle tried desperately to stop the rape.
She said, “I was raped in his presence. My uncle tried to fight with them but they tied him to a tree. He was shouting: ‘Leave her alone. Take me. Kill me instead of raping her.’ My uncle was making a lot of noise so they shot him dead and the soldier continued to rape me.” She added, “Whenever I think about this experience and when I think how much my uncle loved me I really feel like it’s the end of my world. Sometimes I faint because of it.”
After the rape, Tantine found out she was pregnant and considered having an abortion. However, her dad urged her to keep the baby and now her son, Gloire Arsene Bisimwa, is three-years-old.
Currently, Tantine makes a living by selling bananas, thanks to a small business loan from the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF). The SCIAF also provides her with medical treatment, counseling and agricultural training.
Therese Mapenzi, a representative of SCIAF, said, “In the future we hope to have a Congolese society where there is good governance, respect of human rights and where we can only hear the songs of birds and not the shootings.” Tantine hopes her son can go to school like other children and grow up to be an important person in society.