Gov’t To Strengthen Criminal Justice Sector For SGBV Victims

Liberia’s Solicitor-General Betty Lamin-Blamo has indicated that government has taken steps to promote access to justice for victims of sexual and gender-based violence through the amendment of the law.

"Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) continues to be a challenge in Liberia," Lamin-Blamo, who served as proxy for the Minister of Justice, Benedict Sannoh, said Wednesday during the launch of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence under the theme: ‘From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World.’

She noted that strengthening the sector will provide harsher punishment for rape and to grade rape as a capital offense.

According to Lamin-Blamo, the government in 2009 established the Sexual Gender-Based Unit at the Ministry of Justice primarily for SGBV cases.

She revealed that over the past two years, the government also established the same unit in Bong, Maryland and Grand Gedeh counties, adding that it is expected to create the unit in six counties to increase prosecution of SGBV cases.

“The government has done much, but we admit that much more needs to be done to ensure that SGBV can stop in our country,” she said.

She, however, noted that winning the fight against SGBV will require the involvement of parents, government, traditional, and community leaders and every citizen of Liberia.

It can be recalled that in February and May 2015, courts in Montserrado County recorded 177 SGBV cases.

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