As we reflect on the reasons for November 18th reflection, it is important to understand that Rape is a barbaric act that violates a human dignity and pride, leaving victims\survivors battered with little or no Justice in most parts of the world due to societal culture of silence.
Over the years, the Hands Off Our Girls campaign has endeavored to raise awareness on issues of rape and sexual injustice in Sierra Leone, thereby giving women the confidence to speak up and report their violators, with hopes of getting expedite Justice through the Sexual offenses model court which was instituted to exclusively process rape \sexual penetration matters.
What is seen today as a success for survivors and their families has been a long road of collaboration, dedication, deliberation and unity, as First Lady Dr. Fatima Maada couldn’t have done it alone, though one thing remained clear, which was her no turning back until something is done at the United Nations belief, which kept her going. It is worth noting that more needs to be done for the protection of women and children and this is just the start of many successes that is geared towards restoring the dignity of survivors.
Today as the world reflects on the many sexual violations women go through on a daily basis and what more can be done to get Justice and protect them, may we all be reminded that equality is a human right and those that have been violated must have the required physical, mental and social healing they require and First Lady is committed to the task.
First Lady sends her best wishes and love to every human that has gone though something as horrific as rape in Sierra Leone and around the world and hope they finds justice and their dignity regained.
Strategic Communication Division
Office of the First Lady