Rwandan radio station launches campaign to combat sexual violence in the DRC

KIGALI, Rwanda – Radio station Contact FM 89.7 kicked off their ‘Break the Silence’ campaign today, which aims to raise awareness about sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“It is estimated that over half a million women were raped during the genocide and no one sounded the alarm,” said Albert Rudatsimburwa, Contact FM’s Director. “Right now our sisters in the Congo are experiencing horrific sexual violence in startling numbers and we want to help break the silence about this atrocity. It must stop.”

Sexual violence against women and girls in the DRC has reached astronomical portions. 27,000 sexual assaults were reported last year in the South Kivu Province alone, according to the United Nations, and the figures are believed to be much higher. Kidnapping, torture, mutilation, and cannibalism are all aspects of sexual violence in the Congo, recently called “the worst in the world” by Dr. Yakin Erturk, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women.

Perpetrators are from all sides of the conflict and impunity is endemic. Although sexual violence was outlawed in July 2006, to date, not a single person has been prosecuted.

‘Break the Silence’, the first radio campaign of its kind in the country, will begin by airing messages of solidarity from prominent figures next week. Various aspects of sexual violence in the DRC will be discussed through a series of radio documentaries based on testimony and interviews with activists and survivors in South and North Kivu. The campaign will culminate on November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, with a full day of programming broadcast in four languages – English, French, Kinyarwanda and Swahili.

Contact FM (CFM) 89.7 is Rwanda’s leading radio station
with over 2 million listeners to its news, music and talk
radio programs across Rwanda, and another 80,000 who listen
online throughout the Diaspora.

Media contacts
Victor Nkindi (French/ Kinyarwanda)
Station Manager – Contact FM
Tel: +250 08 53 78 94

Lauren Vopni (English/ French)
Media Trainer – Journalists for Human Rights/ The Rwanda
Tel: +250 03 04 95 04

Albert Rudatsimburwa
Director Contact FM

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