3 years ago

Quand le présupposé inné devient un défi de survie : résilience des enfants issus du viol à l’Est de la RD Congo

Benjamin Bihabwa Mahano, Simon Amalini, Marie-rose Moro

Publication date: Available online 27 March 2018

Source: Annales Médico-psychologiques, revue psychiatrique

Author(s): Benjamin Bihabwa Mahano, Simon Amalini, Marie-Rose Moro


Dans la société de l’Est de la République Démocratique du Congo, le père est fondateur de l’identité. Pourtant, la guerre qui sévit dans cette partie du pays a occasionné des viols massifs. Les enfants nés du viol ne sont pas acceptés parce que leur venue au monde bouscule les représentations qui fondent les croyances partagées au niveau social et sociétal. Ces enfants sont rendus responsables d’une question relevant de la préhistoire de leur histoire : être né, enfant d’ennemi. Nous rapportons le cas de Jo, six ans, consulté au camp des déplacés internes de Mugunga, près de la ville de Goma. Il vit avec sa grand-mère qui le présente comme « enfant des Interahamwe ». Bien que sa mère ait fui le domicile alors qu’il avait sept mois et qu’elle reste introuvable à ces jours, Jo affirme qu’elle vit dans telle cité et son père, dans la rue. Dans le monde de Jo, son existence est liée à celle de son père. Pour faire face à cette exigence sociétale, Jo se crée un roman d’enfance, un véritable rêve éveillé sur lequel tient sa résilience. Nous démontrerons comment et pourquoi ce roman d’enfance est fondateur de vie dans cette société patriarcale patrilinéaire.


In developed countries, “childbirth under X” is becoming widespread and the issue is no longer a problem for morals. The progress of medicine now allows the parent to choose the qualities of his future child. In eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), it is of the order of transgression that a child questions his filiation or imagines the qualities of the parents he would have liked to have. It is unthinkable to be born and exist without a parent. In this patriarchal patrilineal society, individual and collective identity rests on the image of the father. In the same way he attributes his name to his child, he roots him in filiation and above all, introduces him to the society and to his world. Moreover, in a circle of elders, to designate a younger the name “son of such” or “daughter of such” prevails over the first name of birth. Christian religions, which concern more than 90 per cent of the population of the country, insist on marriage as the only means of procreation and, above all, on its unique and indissoluble character. The civil service adds to the customary and religious marriage the civil marriage to formalize, once and for all the framework that leads to the parenthood. Yet, eastern DRC has been at war for over twenty years. Among the most denounced abuses of this war, massive rapes. Their number and the cruelty with which they are executed make us fear its use as a weapon of war. Eventually, many children are born from these forced unions. For the raped woman, rape is a trauma. According to specialists, it is the worst of events in the potentiality to induce a traumatic disease. The particularity of this trauma in the DRC is due to the image created around marriage, virginity, faithfulness, the body of the woman … In this country indeed a woman raped and a prostitute come closer to the eyes of the society. Faithfulness in the couple is at the center of preoccupations in both the traditional and religious worlds. To this is added the representation of sexual relations outside marriage and their traditional consequences. Moreover, tradition, religions and public administration all condemn severely contraception, abortion and infanticide. This complexity draws the still unclear limits of the trauma of a woman raped in eastern DRC. As for the child born of rape, it is a paradox. In the end, he is made responsible for a reality dating back to the prehistory of his history: to be born, child of enemy. Society requires the family to deal with it at the same time as it represents the unspeakable, the shame and a break for that same society. The members of the maternal family take care of them, but in fact nobody - or almost no body- is willing to offer them local identity marks. Putting on them specific traits of culture seems to be a transgression, a risk that no one can or will not take. Doing so is perceived as exposing practices, traditional “faires” to a stranger. Moreover, in order to present these children to a stranger, nicknames cut straight, once again testifying that for them, the social identity comes from the father: “child of the interahamwe”, “snake children”,… On the genogram of the family, the child born of rape represents a rupture, a radical break between the “normal” and the “abnormal” and thus prepares the basis for a Transgenerational trauma. How do the children of rape save their bits of history and fit into history? To form their resilience in this patrilineal patriarchal society, these children de

-Abstract Truncated-

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.