- Sierra Leoneans see gender-based violence (GBV) as the most important women’s- rights issue that the government and society must address (Figure 1).
- Two-thirds (67%) of citizens say violence against women is “not very common” or “not at all common” in their community, while 32% – and 36% of women – disagree (Figure 2).
- Almost half of respondents consider it “somewhat likely” (21%) or “very likely” (27%) that a woman will be criticised, harassed, or shamed if she reports gender-based violence to the authorities. Only 37% say this is “very unlikely” (Figure 3).
- But most (93%) believe that the police are likely to take cases of GBV seriously (Figure 4).
- A majority (57%) of Sierra Leoneans say domestic violence should be treated as a private matter to be resolved within the family rather than as a criminal matter.
Gender-based violence (GBV) is the most important women’s-rights issue that Sierra Leoneans say their government and society must address, the latest Afrobarometer survey shows.
While a majority of people say violence against women and girls is uncommon in their neighbourhoods, many indicate that women are likely to face criticism or harassment if they report such violence to the police.
Most Sierra Leoneans think that the police are likely to take cases of GBV seriously. But a majority consider domestic violence a private matter to be resolved within the family rather than a criminal matter requiring the involvement of law enforcement.
In recent years Sierra Leone has declared rape a national emergency and strengthened laws against sexual violence but continues to be rocked by high-profile cases of gender- based violence, including the recent murder of Sinnah Kai-Kargbo, in which her boyfriend stands accused.