What is Black Tuesday in Sierra Leone?

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‘’Black Tuesday’’ is an initiative launched by the Asmaa James Foundation in Sierra Leone to raise awareness on issues of violence against women with a focus on rape and sexual penetration.

The Asmaa James Foundation is a girls and women’s health advocacy organization founded by Sierra Leonean journalist Asmaa James.

Every morning as lead anchor on Radio Democracy 98.1 ’Gud Mohnin Salone’, Asmaa James ensures that any news of sexual assault takes center stage. Last year she noticed that the more she reported on the cases, the more incidents were reported. Frustrated and infuriated by the stories of pain and grief Mrs. James took action.

In December 2018,  Mrs. James visited a 5 year old victim of sodomy at the Aberdeen Women’s Center. The attack one her was so severe it left the girl paralyzed in a fistula ward. Moved by what she witnessed Mrs. James took launched the Black Tuesday Campaign.

Thirty CBOs, associations, and NGOs organized a massive demonstration across the capital city of Freetown. Online and offline Sierra Leoneans wore black in solidarity with victims of sexual violence and to sound the alarm for national action.

Today the Black Tuesday campaign has gone to Mile 91 and in Bo. The campaign has reached over 800 women and girls.

The campaign works in partnership with the Family Support Unit (FSU) at the Sierra Leone Police, Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, the Rainbo Initiative and L.A.W.Y.E.R.S.

At each community meeting BT partners cover various topics including but not limited to negative perceptions, and myths about reproductive health, sex, a sexual violence.

The Asmaa James Foundation will continue to work with its partners and supporters to spread awareness, tips, and lessons on how girls and women can combat abuse.

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