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February 17, 2023

Cohabiting and the foils of living with an estranged partner

Nyiraneza, a mother-of-one and resident of Nyamasheke District, found herself in a complicated situation.

She was staying with a man who was supposed to be her husband but because they were not legally married, their union was ‘strange’ and difficult to understand.

“We were illegally married. My husband and I were always in conflict.” It could have been the lack of commitment that caused their grievances, but the man became estranged with every day that passed.

Nyiraneza conceived in the process, but even then, the man denied being responsible as the father of the child. He wasn’t even caving to being a caring partner.

“After giving birth, he started leaving home and only coming back very late in the night. At some point, he only came back home for some days. We started running out of food and other necessities. It was hard, on top of abandoning me, he started telling me that he didn’t accept the child as his,” she says.

It was all too much for her to handle that one day she chose to seek Haguruka’s support.

“I then joined Haguruka during mobile legal clinics. The lawyer received my case and decided to support me with taking a DNA test.”

When the results came back, they were positive which confirmed that the alleged father was indeed the biological father of the child.

With that evidence, there was no way he was going to continue denying his child. He agreed to support the family by providing the needed financial support to raise the kid.

“I am thankful for the support that Haguruka gave my child and I.”

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