The executive and members of the 50/50 Group of Sierra Leone would like to join all our sisters in condemning the ugly incident at the Lumley Beach during the early hours of Thursday 13th August 2015, involving the rape and murder of a young woman. As a women-focused organisation, we understand that an act of violence perpetrated against one woman is violence against all women. As such, we condemn such acts of violence, not only to the victim but to all women of Sierra Leone in general. It is no secret that rape is a powerful way to communicate dominance and possession. We hereby urge the Sierra Leone Police and all authorities concerned to work diligently and speedily to investigate and solve this case.
Our society cannot function well if women are constantly violated and we need to have a zero tolerance to all forms of violence against women. We need to STOP violence against women, whether it is rape, beatings, domestic violence or murder.
Women MUST be protected in their everyday lives from any form of violence, regardless of their age, class and social status.
Women of Sierra Leone, let us be each other’s keeper. Let us protect ourselves so that we do not become victims.
Let us take the following steps in our daily lives:
1) Report any incidence of violence seen or heard of against any woman or girl.
2) Report any seeming threat on any woman or girl.
3) Do not be in any secluded or isolated area by yourself.
4) Walk in groups especially at night.
5) Fight back and make as much noise if you find yourself in any dangerous situation.
IT IS OUR RIGHT TO BE FREE, TO MOVE AROUND FREELY, TO FEEL SAFE WHEREVER WE ARE AND TO BE PROTECTED BY THE STATE.
Let us come in our numbers in Black to mourn and participate in the candlelight vigil and procession organised by PowerWomen 232 on Thursday 20th August 2015 at 17.00pm at the Aberdeen Roundabout through to Family Kingdom, Lumley Beach.
Dr Fatou Taqi
50/50 Group, Sierra Leone