The war came to the Equatoria Region, where Diria lived, in 2016. That area sits at the bottom tip of South Sudan, and Diria resided in a village called Lasu Payam. When the fighting broke out, she, her four children, her sister-in-law, and some other women in the community hired two vehicles to drive them to the Ugandan border. Diria sat with about seven other people, including her sister-in-law. Her children were in the car ahead. She recalls to Glamour that the group had been driving for three days, inching past checkpoints, when soldiers blocked the path around Mugo Payam, about 50 miles from Uganda, directing their guns at the vehicle transporting her. It was early afternoon.

The soldiers’ faces were covered. They told everyone to get out of the car. Then the men were taken. Diria hasn’t seen them since. The soldiers separated the women into two groups. As she remembers it, the soldiers took the women to the bush and hit them with their guns. Diria still has back pain from the abuse. She heard shouting in Arabic, commands directed toward her to lie down. All the women were gang-raped. Her sister-in-law, killed. After Diria had been sexually violated by five men, there was a cascade of shooting and the soldiers ran. Diria and three other women struggled back to the roadside and saw the driver of their car, shot. They managed to wave down a driver in another car headed for the border who let them hitch a ride. It took another two days to cross into Uganda.

In Keri, the transit center where refugees stay for days or weeks for processing before getting settled in one of 11 areas allocated to South Sudanese refugees in Uganda, Diria started throwing up. She went to the health center and took a pregnancy test. It was positive. The doctor offered to sell her a pill that he said would make the baby “go away” for 200,000 Ugandan shillings (about $54), but she couldn’t afford that price. She tried drinking two cups of herbs she mixed together, hoping the cocktail would make her bleed. Nothing happened. She told her husband. He beat her. He went back to South Sudan. Now he’s blocked her from calling him. Twice she almost hung herself. Then she figured that after giving birth, she’d kill the child.

But when Abraham was born, he went to her to nurse. After he drank from her breast, she says couldn’t bring herself to kill him. Three months later he started to smile. That’s when she says she started to love him. During the first of three interviews with Glamour, Abraham toddles over to his mother and throws himself in her lap, face down, little arms splayed across her thighs. She looks down and the corners of her mouth tick up; her face is thick with affection. At church she holds him close throughout the entire service.

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