The head of the Family Support Unit in Bo, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Sento Bangura has told Awoko that rape cases in Bo are on the increase.
She said since the between January and April this year, they had recorded over 20 rape cases, adding that since the start of May they had been grappling with daily reports of rape.
Sento said the latest case before her was the rape of an 85-year-old woman by an 18-year man who approached his victim posing as a herbalist who would heal her of her infirmity.
The unsuspecting woman was told by the fake herbalist to lie down on the ground and set her legs apart which she did. He then raped her.
The woman reportedly told the police that she started feeling some sharp pain but thought it was the healing process hence put up with it. One her endurance had run thin, the old woman reportedly shouted.
Once the neighbours heard her cry, they dashed into her room where they met the rapist “on top of her”.
Sento Bangura also told Awoko that they are presently looking for a middle-aged man who raped an eight-year-old girl and is believed to be on the run. She said they were having tremendous problems to tackle the menace because they were not getting cooperation from the victims’ families.
She said there was still “this looming silence when it comes to rape” and the few reports they get are very hard to prosecute because almost always the perpetrators go on an out-of-court settlement of the matter.
“If we cannot prosecute these rapists and send them behind bars, they will continue as it is happening now,” Sento said.
When asked what the police were doing to curb rape, she groused that they were incapacitated.
She also blamed traditional beliefs and logistical constraints which she said was inhibiting their success.
They also lack transport to ferry victims from their villages to attend court when cases are charged. She lamented that some of the cases end up being thrown out of court.
There is also the lack of medical attention to victims.