I photographed Masika several times between 2012-2016 and was amazed with her resiliency, bravery and compassion. She continually sacrificed her safety to help so many victims over the years: “Rebecca Masika Katsuva (26 May 1966 – 2 February 2016) was an activist and a survivor of sexual assault from the Democratic Republic of Congo. During the Second Congo War in 1999, attackers killed Katsuva's husband and sexually assaulted her and her daughters, then 13 and 14. Her daughters became pregnant as a result of the assaults, and Katsuva and her daughters were forced to leave their home after being disowned by her husband's relatives. In January 2009, former insurgents, newly integrated into the Congo military, raped Katsuva for the fourth time. The former insurgents said they attacked Katsuva because she had accused them of assaulting women. She adopted 18 children, born of mothers who were sexually assaulted. In 1999, Katsuva founded a centre d'ecoute, also known as a listening house, in her home in the DRC, located in an isolated and conflict-ridden area. She renamed her center the Association des Personnes Desherites Unies pour le Development (APDUD) in 2002. The center serves as a shelter for women to recover from violent acts and provides medical help, and consists of almost 50 houses for women to live in. In the past decade, she helped over 6,000 rape survivors.” -Wikipedia.
Democratic Republic of the Congo