AdvocAid: As Sierra Leone together with the rest of the world celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child under the global theme – Our time is now—our rights, our future, Kadiatu (not her real name), now a 16 year old in detention has never heard about this day or know what it means.
At the age of 10, Kadiatu was a victim of early child and forced marriage in Sierra Leone. During this time, she experienced various forms of child abuse resulting in long term behavioral impacts on her as a child and her mental health. This was how she came in contact with Sierra Leone’s patriarchal criminal justice system and has currently served 6 years in detention.
Because AdvocAid works with women and girls who come in contact with the law, AdvocAid’s Social Worker had a conversation with her about this Day and explained to her the relevance of this day to girls around the world. With that Kadiatu said that “Today, means that girls like me should be listened to because we know our experiences best.”
Photo: Sam Abena/OSF