Asmaa James, Girl Champion

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Meet Asmaa James – A woman who is using her voice and media platform to smash the culture of rape in Sierra Leone.
 
Over 2,500 rape cases involving minors as victims were reported in Sierra Leone in 2018, and this number is increasing. Even with this high figure, a huge number of rape cases are unreported. The country is still shocked by the recent case of a 5 years old girl who was sexually assaulted by a 28 year old man. This little girl will apparently never walk again as a result of a spinal cord eruption caused by this man’s inhumane act.
 
The story of this 5 year old girl and many more incidents of Gender Based Violence and Sexual Abuse spurred the interest of Asmaa James – a renowned media personality – to take concrete actions towards addressing the culture of rape in Sierra Leone.
 
“I was just minding my business as a Station Manager of Radio Democracy when I kept receiving tons of report from girls and their parents about rape. Most of these cases came to my knowledge when victims were not believed and some cases were at a point of being compromised by family members. I will continue to raise my voice and provide a platform for robust sensitisation, and also partner with others to fight this menace. ”
 
Asmaa launched the Black Tuesday Campaign that encourages Sierra Leoneans to wear black every Tuesday in protest against sexual violence. This campaign also encourages community dialogue by creating a platform for survivors to share their stories and demand concrete action from government. She believes it is time for Sierra Leoneans to break the silence and take action. “If not now, then when?” She said. “We can no longer watch in silence.”
 
QUICK FACT
Sex without consent is rape! According to police report, 8,505 rape cases were reported in 2018, and 2,579 of those victims were minors.
 
The notion that what a girl or a woman wears can provoke a man to rape her is totally wrong, because no type of clothing is an invitation to sex or a suggestion of consent.
 
No means No, and children below the age of 18 cannot give legal consent.


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