From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
Sierra Leone Action Network on Small Arms (SLANZA)Observes Global Week of Action against Violence
By Bampia Bundu
May 14, 2010, 17:06

Sierra Leone Action Network on Small Arms (SLANZA) has kick started a week long observation of the ‘Global week of Action against Gun and Violence’ with the theme "Disarm Domestic Abusers." This was revealed to the press on Wednesday 12th May 2010 at their Pademba Road Head office in Freetown.

In her statement, the Coordinator for SLANZA Madam Florella Hazley noted that the Global Week of Action Against Gun Violence is a campaign raising awareness for better gun laws to push for stronger regulation of the global arms trade, adding that it was also a time to highlight the first international campaign to demand policies to protect women from gun violence in the home, to in her words ‘Disarm Domestic Violence.’

He however pointed out that to measure the extent of the problem worldwide, International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) members have conducted research in their communities and the results showed a worrying pattern in which guns were routinely used to threaten, intimidate and facilitate violence against women in their own homes, adding also that women are three times more likely to die violently if there is a gun in the house.

Madam Hazley revealed that as member of the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), SLANSA is pressing for people with a history of domestic abuse to be denied access to firearms, and have their licenses revoked, adding further that understanding the true scale of the problem was the first step towards securing better policies to protect women in their homes. She called for other Civil Society members to join them collect information from their communities and help develop a detailed picture of the problem, as according to her it was only when they worked together that they would develop a comprehensive solution to the problem of armed domestic violence that would ensure women’s safety in their homes.

She called on government to demonstrate support and commitment with strong and effective policies to Disarm Domestic Violence and pledge to protect women in their own homes. "There is no time to lose", she concluded.

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