chapter  4
Sexual Violence Patterns, Causes, and Possible Solutions: An Interview with Julienne Lusenge, Solidarité Féminine pour la Paix Intégrale (SOFEPADI), Democratic Republic of Congo
Pages 9

This chapter explores the invisibility of these children by addressing the case of Rwandan children born of sexual violence during the 1994 genocide. During the three-month genocide in Rwanda, the Interaham we as well as members of the Forces armees Rwandaises (FAR) and civilians systematically attacked women and girls, using rape as an instrument of genocide. Rwandan women who contracted HIV/ AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections and those who developed permanent injuries, such as fistula, are still traumatized and affected years after the violence ended. There are two interpretations of the silence surrounding the children. First interpretation: silence is the best strategy to ensure that these children are protected. A second interpretation of silence: they are the very symbol of the conflict and deep divisions between the opposing parties during the conflict. It is estimated that between two thousand and ten thousand children were born of rape during the hundred-day genocide in Rwanda.