sha Wanda survived multiple rapes from armed men and the young men with her that were coerced into assaulting her. Her husband was later abducted, and she hasn’t seen him since.
Asha is one of nearly 40 percent of women in the Democratic Republic of Congo that are at risk of serious, long-term depression. Survivors of sexual and gender-based violence stand a greater risk for suffering from depression, and its life-long consequences if left untreated.
Depression affects more than 300 million people around the world. The World Health Organization lists it as the leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. It is a particular concern for women who, according to WHO, experience depression more often than men.
A 2013 report by WHO indicates that women who have been physically or sexually abused by a partner are almost twice as likely to experience depression. Worse yet, for women like Asha that have been sexually assaulted by a non-partner, they are 2.6 times more likely to experience depression and anxiety.