As countries like Rwanda enact strict quarantines to slow the spread of COVID-19, women like Sonia* are left trapped in their homes with abusive spouses. After Sonia’s husband threatened to kill her, Sonia took her five children to the Compassion center her daughter, Carene*, attends.
Staff members reported the abuse to the local authorities, who issued a restraining order. They were then able to rent the family a home and provide food to Sonia and her children. They hope to help her start a small business soon. But in the meantime, they are ensuring that the entire family is receiving the emotional support and counseling they need.
“Losing a home that you have shared as a family is tough but your children witnessing their father abusing you verbally and physically is unbearable,” says Sonia.
Three times a week, Claudine, a health worker at the child development center, holds counseling and prayer sessions with Sonia.
“Claudine, along with other center staff and caregivers, have counseled, prayed, and encouraged me, especially during this COVID-19 lockdown when we are in isolation," says Sonia.
*Names have been changed to protect privacy.