Increased rape and victim complacency in Sierra Leone
In Sierra Leone today, for one to hear about rape being done on children as young as six is alarming and sending ominous signals to the countryâ€™s future.
Now, it is a common norm for media practitioners to carry lead stories of rape cases being perpetuated by elderly persons either in the capital, Freetown or in the provinces, where the highest number of rape cases is recorded on a daily basis.
After meticulous monitoring done by this writer on our daily tabloids, it is incredible to learn why Kono in the eastern part of Sierra Leone recorded increasing number of rape cases.
While pondering endlessly on this endemic in the country, something has prompted this writerâ€™s imagination to question whether it was a complacency on the part of rape victims that has sanctioned the perpetuity of the rape menace or is it due to negligence on the part of law enforcers that have entrenched its continuity?
My worry is that Sierra Leone with a very strong religious orientation with Christians and Muslims on both end turning into another South Africa where babies are raped after every sixty-second. But even in South Africa, the spate of rape incidences is on the count-down and alarmingly; Sierra Leone has now taken the lead in popularising the rape culture.
Quite recently, it was reported that an elderly man of enviable authority callously raped a 12-year old girl in the Tankoro Chiefdom, Kono district. What an irony? As those who are delegated with the responsibility of protecting Sierra Leoneâ€™s future the same ones bent on destroying it?
As I earlier questioned in this piece whether it is complacency on the part of rape victims or negligence by law officers, rape victims need to take the lead in championing their own misfortune; as the issue of rape is no longer an aftermath of the war but a mere callousness and uncontrollable lust to fulfill sexual desires by rape perpetrators. In this year alone, series of rape cases have been reported throughout the country with Kono district having the highest prevalence of rape cases.
In Kono, according to what this press gathered, it is no longer a secret that after the indiscriminate rape and plunder of the land and its valuable resources by unpatriotic Sierra Leoneans and foreign companies, women and girl-child become their next preys for irreparable destruction.
Yet, where the truth is concerned about rape menace in Sierra Leone is that many a time family members of rape victims do compromise with perpetrators for infinitesimal amount of money which has obviously created a safe-haven for rapists to do the act with impunity.
In the face of such complacency and compromise on the part of parents of rape victims, Government should be proactive in prosecuting rape matters to discourage the abuse. Sierra Leoneans must be cautious that the HIV pandemic is on the rampage in this country and it is worth warning every compatriot to take the lead in preventing its spread as the virus is not a respecter of persons. Be you a religious person, politician, teacher, doctor and child, old and young you are liable to be infected with the HIV syndrome if preventive measures are not taken. HIV is real and it is here. Lonta!
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We all know that in Sierra Leone money can buy immunity from any complaint or police action.27th July 2010
So the development is not at all surprising.