Over Alarming Rate Of Sexual Violence… 1st Lady On The War Path


 By Ibrahim Sahid Kamara

In her statement as Guest of Honour at the launching of a five-year campaign to end violence on children, organised by the World Vision at the Miatta Conference Centre, Youyi Building, Brookfields, on the theme: ‘it takes us all to end child sexual violence in Sierra Leone’ the First Lady, Mrs. Fatima Bio said, among other things, that in Sierra Leone today, there have been an alarming spate of reported cases of sexual violence on children. Wealthy men, she said, buy the latest and expensive mobile phones for young girls to abuse them, adding that teachers also abuse school children in the name of sex for grades.

The First Lady also urged World Vision – Sierra Leone to consider the prosecution of police personnel and parents that are in the habit of covering up sexual violence cases against children.

She reminded her audience about the alarming increase of young girls involved in prostitution in the country which, she said, is something people hardly talk about. She frowned at young girls going out at nights looking for catch. This, she said, is really bad. The First Lady also frowned at the alarming increase in rape cases involving children and that of early marriage in the country and called on religious leaders to stop using religion as a tool to justify early marriage and parents to always know where their children are to ensure that they are safe. She said parents should always talk to their children, have time with them every day and check them before going to be to ensure that they are safe.

“I have said it now and again that I have no money but I have the voice to talk,” she said, whilst calling on the women to support her to match to State House so that the President would know how alarming the issue of sexual violence against children is in the country.

On his part, Hon. Paramount Chief, Sahr Youngai Kantanday Mbriwa II said the issue of sexual violence against young girls and women and that of early marriage have become commonplace in their communities. He said Paramount Chiefs and traditional leaders are expected to set the standards and also monitor the good initiative of World Vision.

A representative from World Vision International Sierra Leone, Mr. James Chitwelu said they are on a global campaign to end all forms of violence against children. The World Vision, he said, decided to launch the said campaign in order to reduce the increasing violence on children.