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Enforcing Reparations Can Empower Sexual Violence Survivors In DRC

Inter Press Service: Empowering DR Congo’s Sexual Violence Survivors by Enforcing Reparations
Sucharita Varanasi, senior program officer with Physicians for Human Rights

“…Understanding the various hurdles that a [sexual violence] survivor must overcome in accessing the formal legal system is the first step in a survivor’s pursuit of justice. … Reparations, both monetary and non-monetary, can provide emotional, psychological, physical, and economic relief for the pain, humiliation, trauma, and violence that sexual violence survivors have endured. Enforcing monetary reparations justifies the hardship and difficulty of pursing justice in the first place for the survivors. The international community can help a sexual violence survivor move from a position of pain to power. The main question is whether we are willing to urge local governments and community leaders to make it happen” (7/24).