Pete Muller Photography

Battling Impunity: Rape Trials in Eastern Congo: The Victims

A victim of Kebibi's mass rape campaign in the town of Fizi. Her identity has been concealed for security reasons and because rape carries strong social stigma in Congo. With dozens of Kebibi’s soldiers still inside Fizi and numerous militias in the surrounding hills, women live in a constant state of fear. “If we go to the fields, we get raped. If we take our goods to sell in the markets, we get raped. There is danger everywhere for women,” one survivor explained. This image is one of a series of similar portraits of Fizi’s rape victims.
Despite fear of reprisals and of strong social stigma, more than fifty rape survivors traveled from Fizi to Baraka in order to testify against Kebibi and his men. On the condition of anonymity, dozens of women were eager to pose for portraits. Their courage and defiance was deeply moving.
A mass rape victim and her son in the town of Fizi. Her son suffered a head wound (pictured here) when soldiers threw him to the ground before raping and beating his mother. After posing for a portrait on her own, this woman insisted that I photograph her son. She seemed more concerned with his suffering than with her own.