Church to offer legal aid to victims of sexual abuse

HUYE - Butare Catholic Church plans to offer free legal and health aid to victims of sexual abuse throughout its parishes, diocesan authorities announced yesterday.

HUYE - Butare Catholic Church plans to offer free legal and health aid to victims of sexual abuse throughout its parishes, diocesan authorities announced yesterday.

Philippe Sangwa, the coordinator of Justice and Peace commission in Butare Diocese, told The New Times that the initiative is meant to help poor victims of sexual abuse.

The initiative will be sponsored by Caritas Scotland and the European Commission and six lawyers are lined up for the legal battle, according to Sangwa.   

“Sometimes victims of sexual abuse do not receive fair justice because of ignorance or lack of money to pay for a lawyer, but since the cases will be reported to the diocese, we shall intervene with our lawyers,” he said.

A committee of four sensitizers in each parish will gather the statistics. The official added that the statistics will help the diocese to know the magnitude of the challenge, including finding out those that could be handled by the community.

The justice and peace sensitizers, who were meeting on Wednesday at a two-day workshop, said they hoped to bring to light some cases that had been concealed in the past.

“Some cases could have been covered due to corrupt leaders,” said Marceline Kangabe a justice and peace sensitizer from Simbi parish.

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