By: Finda Judith Ngaujah
Strategic Communications Unit, Ministry of Information and Communications
His Excellency the President, Brig. Rtd. Dr. Julius Maada Bio on Thursday 9th July, 2020 launched One Stop Centres established by the Ministry of Gender and Children's Affairs through UN Women with support from the Chinese Embassy and other partners for survivors of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV).
The One Stop Centres are only the second launched in West Africa and ninth in Africa.
The first six pilot Centers are located in safe spaces within government hospitals in Moyamba, Kailahun, Pujehun, Port Loko, Koinadugu and the Kingherman Road Government Hospital in Freetown.
These Centers will provide psycho-social counseling, medical examination and treatment, legal service, safe homes, and high level confidentiality for survivors.
The Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, said the One Stop Centre is a clear indication of the urgent need to tackle rape as a weapon of war against women and girls.
She commended President Bio and the Minister of Gender and Children's Affairs for the bold move at a time when the fight against Corona is still on.
She praised the Gender Minister for working very hard to make sure that the project comes to fruition.
As rape has a life changing impact in the life of a woman or girl, according to her, the One Stop Centers are critical tools to mitigate such impact and ensure that women and girls find a safe place to turn in times of need.
She assured the President that the UN Women will continue to work with government in every step of the way to make sure that the vision the Centre represents is realized.