Following a brilliant move at UN endorsement of 2 resolutions by her excellency, the first lady of Serra Leone, Fatima Bio, the papal crown of honour was extended by Pope Francis in a meeting yearned by the pope to the Sierra Leonean first lady showing such strength and pursuit to advocate for women and children.
As the UN resolution revered healing, it was timely that a prayer mass was held to heal the souls of the broken, which also herald recognition of the pains and experiences there are in child abuses especially for those who find it hard to verbalise their experiences.
Remarkably, over 600 victims of child sexual abuse and violence gathered with their families at the Vatican for “healing prayers”.
As the day was held in recognition of the resolution, it served as an open counselling initiative that will serve the need to empathise with all victims of child abuse and rape. The day, according to Fatima Bio shouldn’t be seen serving as a ceremonious day only. Rather, it must be referenced as a moment for an inward look and participatory approach to serve justice to those inflicting such inhumane act against women and children.
The first lady Fatima Bio furthered, the day will ensure “we must listen and hear the cries of survivors so it can translate into more action against this heinous crime.”
The observed resolution which was marked a key calendar day in the Vatican was endorsed in the UN by more than 110 countries with backing from Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
The said resolution recommends education about the effects of abuse on children, the need to prevent exploitation offline and online and for survivors to have access to justice, eliminate stigma, affirm their dignity and promote their rights.
However, rape itself do not just happen to girls, molestation is even extended to boys. It is perceived the observed marked day in the Vatican was deliberate as most abuses had occurred in the Roman Catholic church yard leaving a negative indelible mark on the minds of many victims. Pope Francis has expressed shame about sexual abuse by the clergy and promised that the “ugly habit” of covering up cases would change.
It is believed such move by the Vatican is a big shift from what had been seen persistent to something unwelcome and this prayer will herald a sense of pardon, admonition to those who perpetrated such crimes whilst serving as healing for victims that at last some acceptance of wrong had occurred and requires redressing with justice where the need arises. Also see
fopradio.org/the-hilary-clinton-of-sierra-leone/. You may also read this https://www.vaticannews.va/en/world/news/2022-11/global-collaborative-sierra-leone-world-day-abuse-interview.html