Sierra Leone president declares rape a national emergency

2019-02-08 14:45


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sierra Leone's president has officially declared a national emergency on rape and sexual violence in a major step toward addressing the issue in the West African nation.

President Julius Maada Bio on Thursday said each month hundreds of cases of rape and sexual assaults are being reported against women, girls and babies. He said some fatalities included three-month-olds and that 70% of survivors are under 15.

Bio said he wants to bring awareness since thousands of cases are unreported because of a culture of silence or indifference.

He said he has now made sexual penetration of minors punishable by life imprisonment. The current law carries a maximum penalty of 15 years, and very few cases have been prosecuted.

Bio's declaration comes after months of campaigning by activists.

Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Read more on:    sierra leone  |  west africa

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.