June 7, 2012 jennyrain

Freedom Fridays | IJM-Rwanda Secures 20-year Conviction

Since being a part of the IJM community, I have been privileged to witness many miraculous interventions of God’s rescue of those caught in trafficking, bonded labor, or other type of violent oppression so Fridays are dedicated to these stories of rescue!

Read some past stories here:

42 Rescued from Bonded Labor | India

Justice a dream for trafficking victims | Philippines

“This Case Will Pave The Way:” IJM Rwanda Secures 20-Year Conviction

IJM Rwanda helped secure justice for a 5-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted by a Rwandan man. He faces 20 years in prison, the longest sentence to date.

KIGALI, RWANDA – In a precedent-setting case, a Kigali man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 5-year-old Rwandan girl.

“[This case] will pave the way in many ways,” says one of IJM Rwanda’s lawyers, James Nuwagaba. He explained that the judge accepted testimonies about the abuse from the child as well as an expert witness – not always the case in Rwandan trials, even though the law allows for testimonies from the victim and expert witnesses like psychologists to stand as evidence.

IJM social workers helped the little girl to communicate what had happened to her in a written statement, then submitted it to the court as her testimonial evidence. The legal team supported the case, and Nuwagaba added, “Our partnership with the [Rwandan government] prosecution was great, and we couldn’t do it without them.”

On May 25, 2012, the perpetrator was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison, the longest sentence in an IJM Rwanda case to date.

The conviction means justice for the girl and her family, but they will continue to receive care and counsel from IJM social workers to help them heal. IJM has arranged necessary medical care and provided trauma-focused therapy to the girl, and her mother is still part of a trauma-therapy group for family members.


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I break things and trip a lot. I like to chase things like dreams, goals, ideas, and raindrops. I create things with words. Writing has been an outlet since I first discovered the magic empty space of a journal. Words dance around in my brain and often land amidst scraps of paper, find their way into journals, or etch themselves into blinking pixels. I hope my words fall like rain on tender souls in need of refreshing. Finding photos in random moments helps me share stories. During a trip to Africa the perfect trifecta of my first DSLR, mission trip, and dream-location happened and my love of photography became a reality. I'm currently writing my first book, "Will They Laugh if I Call You Daddy: Growing up with 2 Dads in an Evangelical World," I'm a board member for One Million Kids, and I believe that every kid of an LGBT parent should have an opportunity to #ChangeTheConversation with their story. My bio remains in process because I am.