KIGALI, RWANDA – Last week, a young man was convicted for sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl. He had been raised as an adoptive brother to the little girl, making the abuse all the more painful for the family.
The little girl's mother contacted IJM for help. Acting as the family's representative, IJM Rwanda helped police track down the man, who had moved to another province after the assault was discovered. IJM staff also facilitated a medical examination for the girl, who will receive trauma-focused counseling to help her recover from the abuse.
An IJM lawyer worked closely with the prosecutor assigned to the case, and on the day of the trial she waited with the little girl and her mother in the courtroom. They waited for seven hours until the verdict was finally announced.
IJM Rwanda Field Office Director Lane Mears said, "In this case, we believe that the speed in which the case was resolved saved the family a tremendous amount of grief and suffering." He praised the cooperation with critical government partners and added, "We are thankful for the growing partnership we have with local leaders and the resulting speed with which we can assist children who have been abused."