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March 2, 2023

From unending disputes and abuse to a peaceful home

Innocent Nsegiyumva and Agnes Manirakiza shared a life of twelve fulfilling years, blessed with three wonderful children. While they hadn’t formalized their union legally, they jointly owned property, including land. However, there was a significant imbalance in their relationship regarding decision-making and control over their shared resources.

Unfortunately, this led to escalating tensions and conflicts, especially when it came to sharing control over their agricultural yields. Nsegiyumva, in particular, exerted dominance over Manirakiza, resorting to physical abuse whenever she raised concerns about her rights. This pattern of abuse was compounded by threats, preventing her from seeking help or discussing her suffering with others. Manirakiza found herself trapped in a distressing situation, unable to break free from the cycle of violence.

Their journey took a positive turn when they became participants in the “Ingo z’amahoro” program initiated by Haguruka, aimed at fostering harmony within families. This intervention proved to be a lifeline for Manirakiza and Nsegiyumva. Through the program’s community dialogues, they gained invaluable insights into gender dynamics, women’s rights, and the legal frameworks surrounding Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

Empowered by newfound knowledge and support, Manirakiza bravely shared her experiences during the group sessions, shedding light on the injustices she endured. Witnessing the impact of his actions and realizing the harm inflicted on his partner, Nsegiyumva underwent a profound transformation. He sincerely apologized to Manirakiza and committed to rectifying the inequalities within their relationship. As a gesture of their renewed commitment, they decided to formalize their union through marriage, symbolizing their mutual respect and equal partnership.

Today, Innocent Nsegiyumva and Agnes Manirakiza stand as a testament to the transformative power of education, dialogue, and the unwavering resilience of the human spirit. Their journey from conflict to reconciliation serves as an inspiring example, inspiring hope for countless others striving to build healthier, more equitable relationships.

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