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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 August 2005, 23:01 GMT 00:01 UK
In pictures: Healing wounds
Soldier (Pic: Marko Kokic/WHO)
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Rape and gender-based violence is still being used as a weapon of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo despite a peace deal being agreed two years ago. There are at least 40,000 survivors.
Teenager (Pic: Marko Kokic/WHO)
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Even children have been targeted. One victim says: "I was 14 when I found out I was pregnant. I felt like dying. I didn't want to have a child so early. I wanted to continue going to school."
Medics (Pic: Marko Kokic/WHO)
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But help is at hand. The World Health Organization has trained staff in a number of health centres on the special needs of survivors of rape.
Rape victim
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Many survivors struggle from pyschological trauma too. This rape victim says: "Because of my chronic fatigue I could no longer work. My husband eventually abandoned me and the children."
Albertine Wakusomba, president and co-founder of UMAMA, provides counselling to a survivor. (Pic: Marko Kokic/WHO)
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Staff at UMAMA, the Women's Development Union, and other NGOs have been trained in psychological counselling. Since 2003, UMAMA has provided counselling to 478 women.
Counselling session (Pic: Marko Kokic/WHO)
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A woman who was raped by soldiers seeks support from a counsellor trained by the World Health Organization at a centre in Konya village.
Rape victim (Pic: Marko Kokic/WHO)
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Some of the experiences survivors live to tell are horrifying. This victim says: "They made my parents have intercourse in public, then beat and buried them alive. I was later raped by 30 men."
Male victim (Pic: Marko Kokic/WHO)
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And counsellors say men need help too. This husband says: "They bound and tortured me for three days. All because I refused to give them my wife. They took her anyway."


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