September 4, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Deputy Chairman of the Kailahun District Council has cast blame on parents and guardians for the increase in teenage pregnancy in the district, as according to him, they sometimes compromise with perpetrators.
Michael Komeh Lahai told Concord Times that because parents most times send their girl child to school without the required assistance, some bike riders take advantage of the situation by giving them free ride and expecting something in return.
“In most cases when these girls become pregnant, their parents refuse to report to the police because they are aware about the relationship,” he said.
He added that some parents complain about not having money to pay their way to the police station or court to continue with sexual abuse cases after they have been compromised at home by the perpetrators.
He noted that since 2013 they have been asking for a sitting Magistrate to help in the fight against the increase in sexual and domestic violence in the district, including teenage pregnancy, which is hampering the future of girls in the district.
Mr. Lahai revealed that gender-based violence is more prevalent in Kissi Kama, Kissi Teng and Kissi Tongi chiefdoms, where in some cases men kill their wives with impunity.
“Sexual and domestic violence cases are still on the increase in the Kailahun District. If you look at the statistics, since January to date, we have recorded over 200 cases, including teenage pregnancy,” said Line Manager for Family Support Unit in Kailahun, Alpha Koroma.
He cited Section 7 sub-section (C)(1) of the Child Rights Act of 2007, which makes provision for free medical facility for all sexual and domestic violence victims, but noted that most victims, when taken to the police and given the medical form to endorse, find it very difficult to do so for fear of losing their marriage.
He also blamed parents of the victims who in most cases compromise at home with the perpetrators.