November 17, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The Kailahun Women in Governance Network (KWiGN) are disturbed by the continued recording of sexual and gender based violence cases in the district, despite the availability of a resident magistrate.
According to statistics from the Family Support Unit in Kailahun, from January to October 2016, a total of 461 cases were reported, with forty-two (42) being sexual penetration, while 125 were economic abuses. Out of the four hundred and sixty-one (461) reported cases, only 114 were charged to court.
President of KWiGN, Lucy Gondor said they were hoping that with the presence of a resident magistrate in the district, such cases against women would have been reduced drastically, but stated that such was not the case.
She said the district continues to record SGBV cases even though according to her, they were not as huge as before.
“We have been doing our own bit with support from SEND foundation to ensure a stop in SGBV cases, especially in the district. We are concern that despite a resident magistrate, we continue to have rape cases,” she said.
She noted that women in Kailahun were ready and determined to bring to an end, issues of rape and all other forms of violence.
Madam Gondor stated that the network, which comprises over one hundred women groups in the district, played a pivotal role in ensuring the availability of a resident magistrate.
She added that they have done a lot of advocacies in the past to make sure that women take their place in the governance of the country.
She commended the government through the Attorney General and Minister of Justice; Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, for heeding to their appeal and the Local Government and Rural Development; Maya Kaikai for championing the course.
She called on indigenes of the district to help with the necessary funds needed to ensure a halt in SGBV cases.
The non-availability of a resident Magistrate in the district had been one of the major factors responsible for the delay in the dispensation of justice in the district, as serious legal matters were sometimes not adjudicated.