War On GBV Perpetrators

 

By Thomas S. Kembay

As women’s organizations in the country continue to observe sixteen days of activism on Gender Based Violence (GBV), Head of Advocacy Movement Network, Madam Hawa Sally Samai said last Thursday that perpetrators of GBV are from within.

Addressing journalists in a news conference held at their Spur Loop offices at Wilberforce in Freetown, Madam Hawa Samai said this year’s theme for the sixteen days activism: “Hear me too” is to create a platform wherein the side of the perpetrators can be heard as well.

According to the female activist, “Over the years, the concentration had been on victims leaving out the perpetrators. So, in our move for a holistic approach towards ending the menace, we have decided to bring onboard the perpetrators to hear their own side.”

Perpetrators, Madam Samai said, ranges from rapists, lawyers, law enforcement agents to civil society activists. She argued that delay, compromise and information muzzling by the appropriate authorities in curbing the menace make them perpetrators as well, adding that it is about time they engaged perpetrators in order to get their views on perpetrating GBV.

She argued that if, for instance, a perpetrator hires the service of lawyer and eventually gets away with a violence perpetrated, than even the lawyer that represented the perpetrator in court also becomes a perpetrator.

Madam Samai said some perpetrators would use law enforcers to procrastinate investigations into alleged GBV, thereby becoming perpetrators as well, adding that families of GBV victims that compromise are also perpetrators.

The woman activist however expressed optimism that at the end of the sixteen days activism, there would be community ownership and behavioral change towards GBV.