The Senegalese National Assembly voted unanimously and by acclamation on Monday the bill criminalizing acts of rape and pedophilia.
The criminalization of rape was a request from women’s rights organizations following a series of sexual assaults recorded in recent months. Up to now, rape has been considered in Senegal as a simple offense, punishable by five to ten years in prison.
Now, with the law passed in the National Assembly, the perpetrators of these crimes can receive sentences up to life. According to a study, of the 6 thousand 289 cases of violence against women recorded in 2018, 1321 concern cases of rape.
Statistics from the Ministry of Justice’s criminal case unit indicate that between 2017 and 2018, 706 women and girls were victims of sexual abuse leading to death. The figures reveal that for this year 2019, 14 women were killed following rape, including three minors who were pregnant.
For Dior Fall Sow, lawyer and honorary president of the association of women jurists of Senegal, with this dissuasive vote, penalties will be pronounced.