Innocent Nsegiyumva and Agnes Manirakiza lived together for twelve years and had three children. Though they were not legally married, they co-owned land. Nsegiyumva however, deprived his partner the right to share control over the harvest.
This caused grave conflicts in their relationship. Nsengiyumva began to physically abuse Manirakiza whenever she would bring up the issue of her rights. And whenever he wounded her, he would also intimidate her to never report or even talk about the abuse with anyone. So, when anyone asked her where she got the wounds, she would say that she fell down or had an accident. Life became bitter for Manirakiza.
While in that life of unending disputes and abuse, Haguruka began conducting community dialogues for families called “Ingo z’amahoro” meaning “Peaceful families.”
Luckily, Manirakiza and Nsegiyumva were among the couples that were chosen to attend this program. Through the dialogues, this couple learnt about Gender-Based Violence (GBV), women’s rights and GBV laws.
Acquiring this knowledge convicted Manirakiza of the hurt and pain he had been causing his partner. Manirakiza also had the courage to share her story in the group sharing sessions of the program. Eventually, Nsegiyumva apologized to his partner and promised to give her equal rights over their property. In addition to that, they decided to legalize their relationship and they got married.