WIMSAL Condem Rape
A Women’s Media organization has overwhelmingly condemned the increase of sexual harassment and raping of young girls in Sierra Leone. A press release issued by the organization states.
Women in the Media Sierra Leone (WIMSAL) wishes to express its disappointment over the recent increase in the number of reported rape cases in Sierra Leone. It is disheartening to note that in the month of May alone, the ministry of Social Welfare Gender and Children Affairs recorded over 100 rapes and other sexual related cases of girls mostly under 14 in Freetown.
The press release also continues to say that “WIMSAL notes that, this is a very crucial Human Rights violation that causes severe physical and psychological damage that these girls could endure for life. In as much as we appreciate the bravery of survivors and the communities for reporting these cases, and the charges brought against perpetrators under the recent Sexual Offences Act, there are still challenges in the area of law enforcement. This is evident by the backlog of rape and sexual related cases in court as we also look forward to a high conviction rate.”
However WIMSAL believe the punishment for rape is not commensurate to the crime being committed ,especially so in consideration of the physical and psychological effect of rape and ask that punishment for rape be made stringent in order to halt the spate of increase. WIMSAL also believe the level of awareness on this issue is still not enough at societal levels, thus, as a media organization; WIMSAL will endeavor to send the message, using the tools it has to reach every facet of our society.
WIMSAL therefore calls on the judiciary to ensure speedy trial of rape and sexual related cases and for private lawyers to come to the aid of rape survivors. WIMSAL also urges the Government to provide adequate medical care and support for survivors of rape and sexual related cases, as the Rainbow Centre that largely provides counseling and medical services for survivors is transforming into a local based organization.
WIMSAL is also calling on relatives of rape survivors to desist from compromising rape and other sexual related offences, as it is a human rights violation and has the tendency to destroy the fabric of society.
By Isatu Gbla
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