Study abroad spurs international justice career

emily-rainville-3Emily Rainville ′04 
English Literature major
Currently residing in South Asia

Study abroad experiences in West Africa and France shaped this student’s view of the world and convicted her about the investment she could make in the lives of those outside her immediate circle of influence.

Today, Emily Rainville’s circle includes not only colleagues at International Justice Mission (IJM) in south Asia, but also potentially thousands of young women victimized by slavery, sexual exploitation, and other forms of violent oppression. Last September, after two-and-one-half years working at the IJM headquarters in Washington D.C., Rainville deployed to South Asia for a one-year assignment in an office dedicated to eradicating commercial sexual exploitation. “Sex trafficking is one of the most brutal forms of modern-day slavery one can imagine,” says Rainville from her office in a bustling metropolitan city in South Asia. “We work to rescue trafficking victims and to transform our community so that more young women and girls are not subjected to this unthinkable abuse.”  

UNICEF estimates that there are nearly two million children exploited in the commercial sex trade worldwide. IJM lawyers, investigators, and other professionals work with local officials to ensure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators, and to promote functioning public justice systems.

“Our work is important to me in countless ways,” says Rainville, a member of  the national English honors society, Sigma Tau Delta. “I love being part of a work that is taking seriously God’s call to transform our world — and that allows us to see Him work in unbelievable ways when we step out in faith to take on dangerous and complex challenges.”

Rainville demonstrates her commitment to IJM and God’s calling for her life by taking on whatever roles she can that will contribute to the team’s objectives—this time through administrative support in the finance department. “Our investigators put their lives at risk daily when working undercover; our lawyers work relentlessly to push cases through a terribly bogged down court system; and our social workers face hostility all day,” she says. “Throughout all of my assignments here, I’ve been granted the deep satisfaction of seeing how my support enables the team to do the work of justice that God has called us to.”

Posted in 2004, About Service, Alumni, English, Majors & Minors, Study Abroad | Comments Off

Posted on June 18th, 2009


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