Consequences of gender based violence on reproductive health : a case study of female patients in Lemera Hospital.
Zihindula, Theo G.
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This study was conducted in order to explore the experiences of survivors of gender based violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The aim was to determine the impact of gender based violence on the reproductive health of women. The study was carried out at a hospital in the eastern province of the country. In-depth interviews were conducted with women survivors of rape and informant interviews with staff at the hospital. A total of twenty one participants participated in the study. The findings show that women suffered humiliation, physical and psychological torture during their rape. Some women were raped by a number of men. The rape also had serious consequences for their sexual and reproductive health. Some of the effects of their rape were long-term: it resulted in an unwanted pregnancy or HIV/AIDS. Many of the women expressed their fears for the future. They were particularly worried about their children, especially those who were divorced following their rape and those who lived with HIV/AIDS.