Don’t politicise rape:President Bio tells opposition


February 26, 2019

By Mohamed Massaquoi

President Bio at the Aberdeen Women Centre

President Julius Maada Bio has cautioned members of the main opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) not to politisise the issue of rape and sexual violence against women and girls in the country, adding that the issue is a ‘national calamity’ that needed urgent attention.

The president made the above cautionary statement yesterday at the Aberdeen Women Centre where a five year old girl is currently responding to treatment after she was sexually abused.

He noted that every Sierra Leonean has a moral responsibility to protect children, adding that most of the sexual violence cases were targeted at under aged children, hence the declaration state of emergency.

“Even though this has been politicised, but I have a clear conscience that I am doing this as head of state and I have the moral responsibility to protect each and every citizen of this country. I want to use this opportunity to thank all of those working at the Aberdeen Women Centre. Several people who have accessed this centre have done so as a result of rape or other forms of sexual assault. I hope we get the support needed from the community and elsewhere to be able to stop this madness and provide support to those who are victims already,” he said.

The president encouraged sexual victims at the centre to remain focused and put their predicament at their back, adding that a good number of them will be future leaders of Sierra Leone.

“I want to encourage you all to keep focus and work hard. You have the support necessary from my government and I am sure you will keep the good faith,” he maintained.

Meanwhile, the President had ordered that perpetrators of rape especially against minors should be jailed for life.

He made the statement during a ceremony  organised at State House, while launching government effort to combat rape and sexual offences against women and children.

“Each month, hundreds of cases of rape and sexual assaults are being reported against women, girls and babies with some of the fatalities being as young as three months old and that 70 percent of survivors of the traumatic experience being under the age of 15,” he stressed.
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