From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Brookfields Records Hike in Rape Reports
By Momoja Lappia
Jul 8, 2010, 18:12

Police reports from the Brookfields community in Freetown have disclosed that the community has recorded the highest reports on rape cases for the first half of 2010.

This was revealed in an interview with Police Sergeant Hassan Bangura attached to the New England Ville Police Division who confirmed that reported cases of rape within the locality being investigated by them have showed the incidence has reached an alarming proportion. Sergeant Bangura gave some of the reasons for such an increase to be associated with acute poverty, drug abuse, and indecent mode of dressing and moral breakdown among young girls within the community.

He however, lamented that most of the cases reported to the police are being trashed during investigation stage due to family pressures for out of police settlement. "Parents, guardians and community people have our hands tied behind our backs as they entreat on us to leave such matters with them for in house settlement," he sadly informed. He said even when rape and indecent actions are being charged to court, community leaders and family relations go at length to negotiate withdrawal. "This is not good for the prosecution of sensitive and human rights violations like rape and sexual harassment against young girls, he posited, while calling on Human Rights advocacies to be constantly visiting police stations and courts to discourage nondescript settlements in matters that hinder the progress of young girls and societal development.

A Christian Brother, Bishop Christain Cole, who also lent his voice in registering concerns over the issue in a follow up interview said they as religious leaders must not encourage a cover up of rape incidences. As a resident of that community, he said he was appalled by the hike in rape occurrences which he vehemently condemned. He used the opportunity to call on parents and guardians to desist from in-house negotiations when their siblings are abused. Also since most of the seduction come as a result of unethical dress codes by our teenage girls, he admonished parents to be keen observers of their daughters’ dress codes, especially when going outdoor. "It has been noted that poor caring for the welfare of girls exposes them to such dangers especially when trying to make ends meet, he concluded.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.