The gender-based violence (GBV) program started in 1999 and has evolved into a vital program assisting thousands of survivors of gender-based violence across the country. The SC works closely with local communities to raise awareness about GBV, in order to facilitate a change in attitudes and behavior that condone and perpetuate gender-based violence. Local women’s and men’s action groups are empowered to actively engage in prevention activities and to provide support and referral services to survivors. At the national level the SC advocates for policy reform addressing gender-based violence.
SC operates three Sexual Assault Referral Centers in Freetown, Kenema and Kono, where survivors of sexual assault can access free comprehensive counseling, medical care, follow-up support and legal support services. SC is currently working towards embedding the sexual assault referral centers within government structures, and encouraging the government of Sierra Leone to gradually roll out sexual assault response services across the country. With Parliament’s passage of the Gender Bills, SC is now working with the grassroots organizations involved in drafting the bills to facilitate roll-out and implementation.