Olivier believed his voice was more important than his life. When he used it to speak out against the brutal regime, his life changed forever. But with the help of both our staff and supporters, he is ensuring his legacy can carry on.
Blog by Oliver
As a pastor in the Democratic Republic of Congo, I believed I should always stand up against injustice and the mistreatment of people.
After speaking up when people in my community were abused and killed for their beliefs, I was locked up in an underground prison for two months. In there, the guards repeatedly raped me and stabbed me in the knees; they were trying to break my spirit and silence me.
I finally managed to escape and fled the country. I got to the UK, but felt entirely lost without any English. I found it hard to establish a connection with the people around me, and ask for help.
Hannah – my interpreter at Freedom from Torture – enabled me to express my feelings. Her expert French and knowledge of my local dialect have helped my therapist to understand what I was going through.
The mental and physical pain I endured back in the DRC was so harrowing, it took a few sessions before I could talk about those distressing memories. But over time, I’m learning to express what happened, so I can finally get the care and support I need.
I am now able to talk about my experiences without crying –that alone shows how far I have come.