“I’m hopeful about the future because I know my rights… I see a future when women are respected and women get along with their husbands and live happily within their marriages.”

Sarah never saw her parents fight when she was growing up. Her father never hit them or showed them any kind of disrespect. He was a family man who cherished them deeply.

But when Sarah was older, she moved in with a man who was nothing like her father.

It didn’t take long before she noticed Komakech’s* rough nature. He fought with the neighbors. He frequently got angry with friends. And he had a history of abusing the women he dated. After three months, Komakech attacked Sarah for the first time.

Then they became more frequent. One night, Sarah suffered Komakech’s most violent attack yet. She fled the house with a black eye and little clothes to cover her.

Sarah went to the police and Komakech was arrested. When it came time to pursue the case in court, her family and loved ones discouraged her.

In Uganda, it’s an accepted norm that men beat their wives. Often women fear that taking these cases to court might make their abusers more violent, or worse: provoke them to kill. But standing up for her own rights as a woman was worth this risk to Sarah.

You can protect women like Sarah from violent abuse that should never enter a home. With an IJM attorney by her side, Sarah had a powerful advocate to defend her in court and secure Komakech a 6-month jail sentence.

Today, Sarah is an empowered and independent woman. With the help of IJM, she found a career she loves as a hairdresser and celebrates her rights as a woman.

“I’m hopeful about the future because I know my rights… I see a future when women are respected and women get along with their husbands and live happily within their marriages… I believe that it’s possible because the law is there...”

 

*A Pseudonym

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