Living Peace: The Story of Abby and Kyalu

Abby and Kyalu were abducted by a rebel group in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2008. Abby was forced to do hard labor for the rebels. Kyalu, his wife, was raped, and had a child as a result. Once Abby was able to escape from the rebel group, he expelled Kyalu from their home. The film below tells their journey of recovery as part of an initiative called Living Peace, led by Promundo. This is the story they wanted to tell.

The International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) carried out in DRC by Promundo, Sonke Gender Justice, and the Institut Supérieur du Lac (ISL) finds that cases like Kyalu’s are far too common: most women who were raped by strangers (armed groups or others) reported being rejected by their husbands and forced to leave their homes. The research also found that men’s conflict-related trauma is a key driver of their ongoing use of violence against their partners and children, as well as the source of their own urgent mental health needs.

Building on this research, Living Peace was established in 2012, and scaled up in North and South Kivu in 2015 with ISL, Benenfance, and HEAL Africa. The initiative combines group therapy, community activism, and training of police and military to rebuild men’s peaceful, non-violent identities and relationships. Initially funded by the World Bank’s LOGiCA Trust Fund, the initiative and scale-up is now supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Learn more about Promundo, Living Peace, and IMAGES DRC.

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