Retired nurse Mrs Haddy Mboge-Barrow

A retired nurse has urged the authorities to look into the delay in prosecution of alleged perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence in the country.

Haddy Mboge-Barrow, 61, made the call during her testimony before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission on Tuesday which began its public hearings on the Jammeh regime’s sexual and gender based violence.

“When we come to the prosecution department, the investigation (on sexual offences) will go on and on. Sometimes if a case is reported, the investigations will take two to three years before the investigation and prosecution of that case will be completed. It takes a very long period before a decision is made,” she said.

Mrs. Mboge-Barrow, who also worked for the Network against Gender Based Violence, pointed out the challenges faced by victims of sexual abuse violence.

She said police stations in the country are not gender friendly for victims.

“When you go to the police station reporting about gender violence, it is an open place which is very difficult to even narrate what had happened to you,” she said.

Mrs. Mboge-Barrow called on the authorities to consider having in place police stations that are gender friendly, adding that many people wouldn’t be willing to discuss their ordeal in public.

She said the challenges faced by the hospitals include lack of facilities to record the critical evidences of gender based violence and provide efficient laboratory for recording DNA tests as evidences in courts.

She called for the rejection of prolonged trial cases of gender based violence, adding “somebody whose right has been violated and you asking that person to come today, come tomorrow … that has an economic cost to that particular person.”

According to the Gambia Bureau of Statistics Health Survey Reports: 41 percent of Gambian women between the ages of 15 to 49 have one time in their life encountered sexual violence in which 5 percent of those women have been physically violated.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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