The Truth Told Project Rough Cut (14 min)
Two years ago I headed into the unknown of the war torn mineral rich region of North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) because of a news report that in retrospect has changed my life forever.
The report was about a village in the North Kivu region of the DRC that had been held captive by multiple armed groups for almost a month. During that time, an estimated 200 girls and women were systematically raped with no response from the United Nations (UN) even though there was a UN base a few miles away.
Hearing that news report was my "ENOUGH!" moment. I was already aware of the horrible situation in the DRC - that one girl or woman is raped every minute in the midst of a resource war for the minerals in our technology, but I was enraged at the international community - and myself - for not having done more.
On a leap of faith I grabbed my new HDSLR camera and decided to go to the DRC to get the truth about what was happening directly from those most impacted - the women and girls.
For 50 days, I worked unprotected in isolated communities alongside an all Congolese NGO COPERMA and humanitarian/writer Amy Ernst to collect testimonies and conduct interviews with girls and women in rural villages and the bush of N. Kivu - recent survivors of rape.
Many of them live in isolated villages in the bush. With no immediate way to protect themselves and a dysfunctional "justice system" survivors are left alone and afraid they will be attacked again.
My vision is that The Truth Told Project will serve as a catalyst for change, offering survivors a chance at justice by enabling them to share their story with the world and making the human connection needed to garner the support of the international community.
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Photographer: Sarah Fretwell
Exhibit Title: The Truth Told Project - Democratic Republic of Congo
Location: Democratic Republic of Congo
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