Rebecca Masika Katsuva, Congolese women’s rights activist, Dead


Rebecca Masika Katsuva died on February 2, 2016.

She was an activist and a survivor of sexual assault from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rebecca was the founder of the Association des Personnes Desherites Unies pour le Development (APDUD) and defends the rights of survivors including children in the South Kivu region of the DRC.

She 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, in 1999.

Rebecca Masika Katsuva renamed her center the Association des Personnes Desherites Unies pour le Development (APDUD) in 2002.

Now, the center serves as a shelter for women to recover from violent acts and provides medical help, and currently consists of almost 50 houses for women to live in.

The Katsuva’s center grew in helping approximately 180 women.

For over ten years, she has helped over 6,000 rape survivors.

Mrs. Katsuva earned the 2010 Ginetta Sagan Award for Women’s and Children’s Rights from Amnesty International USA, announced at the organization’s annual gathering in New Orleans April 9–11, 2010.

Following the Second Congo War in 1998, attackers killed Katsuva’s husband and sexually assaulted her and her daughters, then 9 and 13.

Both 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.

Rebecca has been raped four times by soldiers and members of the militia.

The former insurgents, newly integrated into the Congo military, raped Katsuva for the fourth time, in January 2009.

Reportedly, The former insurgents said they attacked Katsuva because she had accused them of assaulting women.

Rebecca has adopted 18 children, who were born from mothers who were sexually assaulted.

Rebecca Masika Katsuva passed away in February 2016.