During the eleven year war in Sierra Leone, an estimated quarter of a million women and girls became victims of sexual violence. These attacks included rape, sexual slavery, forced pregnancy and other crimes. Six years later, little has been done for these women.
These victims struggle to obtain food, shelter, work and healthcare. Often these women are identified as former “rebel wives” and remain discriminated against in their communities. This stigma has made it difficult for the women to reintegrate into society.
Sierra Leone’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission has made recommendations to provide reparations to victims of sexual violence. This would provide a start in addressing the damage caused by the sexual violence committed during the war.
Amnesty International’s forthcoming report, “Sierra Leone: Getting reparations right for survivors of sexual violence” (AFR 51/005/2007) has examined the impact of this sexual violence. The report calls on Sierra Leone’s government to “implement a comprehensive and effective reparations programme.”
Compiled from: "Sexual violence in Sierra Leone – time to repair the damage," Amnesty International, September 2007.