This story is difficult to read. It is a true and tragic story of rape, told by Georgette herself. It's a story that deserves to be heard. If you think you might find this issue difficult, you might not want to read any further.

We were living in the Mabala forest area before. There were problems with armed groups there. We decided to flee to ensure our safety but I was captured by armed men. They took me far away from my family. As we walked, I became very weak, it took me double the time. I brought nothing with me.

They forced themselves on me.  I had no appetite but I had to try and eat to stay alive. They made me cook for them and then they would rape me again.

I was held for four days.

On the fifth day my captors became distracted and I used it as an opportunity to escape.

Afterwards, I didn’t even want to come back home or look other people in the eye because I was seriously ashamed.  My mind was not stable. I had no idea where I was going. 

Since that time, I have never once felt ok. My body used to be fat but no longer. I keep thinking about it. When I was captured, my children continued to run ahead of me, all except for Pierre who was only three months old at the time. I was carrying him when I was captured. 

My children followed the others and ended up here [in Shabunda]. It took them two days of walking. After a long struggle, I found my children staying with a family here. I met another family and told them what had happened and they gave me their sympathy. They let me stay. I don’t want to go back to the place I was before. I want to stay here. They share their food and their home with me.

Your project gave me $60 and taught me how to live despite the situation. When they captured me, my husband had been away. He saw his wife and children were kidnapped, it was three weeks before he found us in Shabunda. I was so excited to see him. I even forgot some of my difficulties. Now he carries bricks and stones to get food and feed our children. 

When I received the $60 from the project, I started to sell cassava flour. I was then able to start to send my children to school. Three of my children are going to school and like it very much. But due to multiple needs my money has nearly gone. 

One day, I noticed an open door to a building where other women were entering. I decided to go in. It turned out to be Sarcaf [Christian Aid partner]. They asked me questions about my situation. First, they assisted me psychologically. They helped me try to clean out the bad memories. I have this assistance one a month and progressively I am forgetting.

They told me to go to the hospital but I never have. I just feel too ashamed.   

I am praying to God so he can help me to improve my life. I have nothing. I feel bad for my children, they don’t eat properly or have proper clothes.

What is a refugee? The term has taken on a life of its own in 2016. Angelique’s story shows us that not all refugees are trying to reach Europe, as the news might have us believe. People the world over have been forced from their homes due to conflict and violence. This Christmas, we're lighting the way.