Don Bosco Intensifies
The Fight Against
By Don Bosco PR Department
Sexual Penetration and other forms of domestic violence against young girls have become commonplace in present day Sierra Leone.
Don Bosco Fambul has been on the frontline in the fight against the menace for decades now by initiating many programmes to mitigate or minimise it occurrences. To further heightens and intensifying the fighting against rape, sexual penetration and Gender base violence, Don Bosco in Thursday, 6th August 2020, at their new complex along the Peninsula, Western Area Rural District, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Family Support Unit (FSU) of the Sierra Leone Police, Rainbo Initiative, Aberdeen Women’s Centre and Legal Access for Women Yearning for Equality, Right and Social Justice (L.A.W.Y.E.R.S).
The purpose of the MoU among other things is to create a network and to enhance a concerted collaboration among partners in the fight against sexual penetration, domestic violence and to stop or minimise the incidences of same.
The role and responsibility of the FSU of the Sierra Leone Police in the MoU is to speedily investigate sexual penetration and matter of domestic violence with serious consideration to presenting convincing evidence to the court. There are allegations of Police officers distorting evidence of rape and sexual penetration matter before even charging the matter to court which happenings had led to judges or magistrates end up throwing those matters out of court.
The Inspector General of Police, Mr Ambrose Michael Sovula and his Deputy Mrs Elizabeth Turay were in attendance during the signing ceremony and he signed the MoU on behalf of the Sierra Leone Police and he promised the audience and the victims present that they will have speedy investigations into their matters as there are a backlog of cases of sexual penetration in police stations across the country.
Legal representation has also been a huge challenge for victims of sexual penetration as their parents or guardians on most occasions cannot afford to hire the service of a legal practitioner. To address that challenge, Legal Access for Women Yearning for Equality and Social Justice (L.A.W.Y.E.R.S), a Nongovernmental Organization comprises mostly female legal practitioners, as per the terms of the MoU, will be providing free legal representation to victims of rape for them to get justice.
Rainbo Initiative according to the MoU will be providing free quality medical and psychosocial care for survivors, raising awareness non gender-based violence in the country. Rainbo Initiative will also provide medical report and certificate to facilitate prosecution of perpetrators.
The Aberdeen Women’s Centre, according to the terms of the MoU, will be providing medical and psychosocial care to victims of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence with severe injuries or complications like bleeding pregnancy and internal injuries referred to them by partners and they will be issuing medical certificate to the Family Support Unit to enhance speedy investigations of cases of rape.
The representatives from all the partners that form the consortium signed the MoU with statements of commitment to achieving the objectives of the partnership.
Don Bosco Fambul is the leading agency in the fight against rape and sexual violence in Sierra Leone. The institution also has programmes enhancing youth empowerment that are geared towards minimizing the crime rate among young people in the country.
The Director of Don Bosco Fambul, Father Jorge Mario Crisafulli, admonished the partners in the consortium to respect their obligations for the future of the Sierra Leonean girls.
The First Lady Madam Fatima Bio was also in attendance and she signed as witness to the consortium and promised to support the consortium to achieve its objectives and the fight against rape and sexual violence in Sierra Leone is close to the chest of her husband the President Brigadier Julius Maada Bio.