NGO urges government to revisit Sexual Offences Act

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September 27, 2018

By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

NGO
Executive Director  MEGA-SL making statement

Men’s Association for Gender Equality -Sierra Leone (MEGA-SL) has called on the government, through the appropriate ministries, to consider the negative effects of sexual abuse in the country for a timely review of the Sexual Offences Acts 2012.

“We are appealing to the government through the appropriate ministries and authorities to consider the negative effects of these actions for a possible timely review of the Sexual Offences Acts so as to factor in the necessary actions required for creating more enabling and safer environments for women and girls in Sierra Leone.”

Speaking during a presser at their Wellington Office, east of Freetown, Executive Director of MAGE-SL, Tamba David Mackieu said through a project titled ‘Right Action and Accountability Supporting Community Mobilisation and State Accountability for Gender Justice in Africa, funded by Norwegian Agency for Development (NORAD), they have in the past three months recorded a total of 12 cases of gender-based violence, including three sexual abuses, six deprivation of support and three wives beaten in Freetown and Bo regions.

He disclosed that two of the sexual abuse matters involved teenage boys aged 15 and 17 years, who confined young underage girls of 13 and 14 years for sexual purposes.

Makieu lamented what he said was the silence of the Sexual Offences Act of 2012 on the issues of underage and young boys committing sexual offences, stating that the Act  has no definite prescribed provision that clearly states as to what actions were required if a young underage boy commits such crime.

He said they were strongly tempted to believe that due to the silence of the Sexual Offences Act in that direction, many sexual abuse cases are either compromised or go unreported.

He said Men’s Association for gender equality Sierra Leone is a registered and recognised national non-governmental organization operating in Sierra Leone.