Diamond rich Kono district has the highest reported number of rape cases for 2013 in Sierra Leone. The Rainbo Centre at the Koidu Government Hospital in Kono district registered 290 rape cases from January to November. Formerly the Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) the Rainbow Centres were launched by the International Rescue Committee in 2003 to provide specialist services, and assistance to victims of sexual assault and rape.
Some 80% of reported cases in the Kono district never get prosecuted because parents choose to “negotiate” in private over public trials. In other instances victims are ashamed to face their accusers in court. The Rainbo Centers support victims and their families regardless of how they choose to deal with the violators. Last year the centres provided services to some 2000 women and girls free of charge.
On May 31st supporters of the Centre will gather at the Cotton Tree in Freetown for a “Stop Rape Now” sponsored walk to the Family Kingdom in Lumley to raise awareness and funds. The sponsored walk is one of many initiatives to keep the centres open and to educate the public about its services.