Women in Post-Genocide Rwanda Have Helped Heal Their Country
Crowds of police officers and nurses converged in a room painted with bright alphabet letters at a hospital in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali. A plush frog and a couple of dolls with Afros lay on the table, props that might be used by a child to entertain herself while her mother seeks care or to act out a haunting scene of abuse for a counselor.
The Isange One Stop Centre is just the first in a growing, countrywide network of clinics where survivors of sexual violence can seek medical treatment, counseling services, and legal help filing claims against their attackers. The design is intended to ensure that the patient has to tell her story only once.
Before we stepped into the center, we’d spent an hour with Rwanda’s top police commander, Inspector General Emmanuel Gasana. A wide-chested, muscular man, he peppered his comments with surprising phrases like “prevention mechanisms” and “gender budgeting.”
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