Unfortunately, rape is one of Lesotho’s leading social issues. According to the UNODC, the incidences of rape recorded in 2008 by the Lesotho police were the highest of any country in the world. Despite the high number of reported rape cases, only a few of them get to the courts for a trial. Victims are often disheartened by the lengthy court trials and the waiting period between the time they report and the time an arrest is made.
For one young girl, this period was almost one year. She was abused in December 2019. Her abuser only appeared in court for the first time in December 2020 after Beautiful Dream Society made several attempts to get those in authority to prosecute the case.
Courts can be very intimidating as the victim not only has to deal with the trauma of facing her abuser but has to also deal with ruthless questions aimed to prove their story as false from the perpetrator’s lawyers. Counseling and preparation helped her as she started the journey of a trial.
We learned that her abuser was never arrested after the case was reported. Instead, “investigations” have been going on from January 2020 to the present. We, however, rejoiced that the case was finally taken to court this month, and the abuser was imprisoned for a day as his lawyer sought bail for him.
She bravely took the stand against the man she most feared as she was asked to testify and explain why she would feel threatened if he would get bail. Despite her testimony, the magistrate decided to grant bail, but she continued to be brave and said she was comforted knowing that the trial date had been set.
She reports her new-found faith in the Lord as one of the biggest shields for her in this scary and challenging journey. She gets a lot of courage from reading Psalms 91 aloud to herself, which she did in the car on the way to the court. We are very proud of her and pray for God’s intervention in her case.