And I Live On; The Resilience of Rwandan Genocide Survivors of Sexual Violence
Anne-Marie de Brouwer, Sandra Ka Hon Chu, Eef je de Volder & Samer Muscati
Pages: 264 pages
ISBN (softcover) : 9789462406001
In the 100 days of genocide that ravaged the small East Central African nation of Rwanda between April and July 1994, approximately 1 million Tutsi and moderate Hutu were killed, and an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 women and girls were raped, as well as an unknown number of men and boys. Almost all Rwandan women who survived the genocide were victims of sexual violence or were profoundly affected by it, and an astounding 70 per cent of survivors are living with hiv.
And I Live On features searing testimonials from Rwandan survivors of the genocide15 and 25 years after the horrific events of 1994. Through their narratives and Samer Muscati’s powerful portraits, these women and one man bear witness to the crimes committed in their country and to the suffering they continue to endure. The testimonials also showcase the survivors’ extraordinary strength, courage and resilience—challenging the stigma they face both as survivors of sexual violence and as people living with hiv. In speaking out, they provide a glimpse into the worlds of survivors living with the genocide’s legacy decades after a conflict. Their stories, along with the accompanying text and illustrations, make an indelible impact.
About the authors
Anne-Marie de Brouwer works in the field of international criminal justice, conflict-related sexual violence, human trafficking and victims’ rights at Impact: Center against Human Trafficking and Sexual Violence in Conflict. She is the co-founder of Mukomeze.
Sandra Ka Hon Chu is the Director of Research and Advocacy at the Canadian hiv/aids Legal Network, where she works on hiv-related human rights issues concerning prisons, drug policy, sex work, women and immigration.
Eefje de Volder is an anthropologist and lawyer working in the field of human trafficking, victims’ rights and conflict-related sexual violence at Impact: Center against Human Trafficking and Sexual Violence in Conflict.
Samer Muscati is a Canadian lawyer, documentary photographer and former journalist. As a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch, he focused on women’s rights in conflict zones. He runs the International Human Rights program at University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law.
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REVIEWS OF THE BOOK
“If the designation of survivor resonates over the miserable label of victim, then these lives that persist, strengthen, must continue to speak, loudly.”
Patricia Viseur Sellers, Special Advisor on Gender to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and former Gender Legal Advisor for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
“Graphically, and without doubt, this book makes the case that rape is no lesser a crime than murder.”
Lieutenant-General (ret) The Honorable Roméo Dallaire
“Survivors choose to tell their stories in the hope that others will hear. These searing testimonials of inconsolable anguish and awe-inspiring resilience will change you forever and spark you to act to honour dignity.”
Dr. James Orbinski, former international president of Doctors without Borders/msf and author of An Imperfect Offering
“The survivors of unspeakably brutal sexual violence managed to leave their past in the past. They realized it would destroy their future. With incredible strength they managed to live for what today has to offer, not for what the terrible past has taken away. This book tells us how they returned the smiles to their faces and the hope in their hearts.”
Patrick Cammaert, Assistant Secretary-General, Head of UNMHA
“This book is about moving beyond surviving into becoming victors. It reminds us that while their pain and abuse will remain remarkable, their testimonials and current situation is what resilience and courage mean. This is what the commitment to remember, unite and renew yields.”
Dr. Usta Kaitesi, Acting ceo, Rwanda Governance Board
“And I Live On: The Resilience of Rwandan Genocide Survivors of Sexual Violence is an exemplary contribution to genocide studies and advances public understanding of genocide. It is a distinct contribution to many disciplines including genocide studies, sociology, history, conflict resolution and human rights. The book is also a testament to the editors’ and photographer’s vision of the consequential role we all have in contributing to a more compassionate and just world. Pioneering allies
to survivors, they serve as an example to us all.”
Dr. Kimberley Ducey, Associate Professor, The University of Winnipeg