‘Alarming’ Rise In Rape, Sexual Assault In Liberia – UN Official

(LINA) – “It’s a great concern that the issues of sexual and gender-based violence in Liberia remain pervasive, reaching epidemic proportions, leaving rape cases with an alarming increase against women and children,” says UN Women Country Representative, Marie Goreth Nizigama.

Madame Nizigama explained that from January to September 2019, a total of 2,018 incidents of violence were reported, of which an increased number of 1,363 were rape cases with 70% involving children below 17-year, unlike 2018 where 1210 cases were reported, affecting children.

“Often times, I have heard assertions such as women and girls dress indecently, therefore they call rape upon themselves. This is no justification for rape! It is a human right violation and should therefore be treated as such and perpetrators brought to book,” she pointed out.

She made the statement over the weekend during the pre-launch of the 16 days of Activism against gender violence under the theme: “Still Blue: Enough is Enough! Stop Rape and Promote Equality!”

Gender inequality is another issue that leads to violence against women and girls, because if a woman is still looked at as inferior to her male counterpart, that woman’s self-esteem, confidence and ability to empower herself will be limited, which will make her more vulnerable to violence, UN Representative added.

“It is a matter of introspection for all of us as a society that our children are being abused with negative misconceptions around rape which have worsened this scourge in Liberia.  Urgent steps must be taken to address the matter at several levels,” she stressed.

She added: “Let all citizens join efforts to prevent rape and other forms of violence across the country.”

According to her, the landmark National Comprehensive Prevention Strategy that was launched recently by Gender Ministry and partners should be mainstreamed in all programs to ensure that rape is made a “thing of the past.”

She then called on all actors and activists to create a passion to end violence against women, especially rape.

(Visited 139 times, 1 visits today)
About Cholo Brooks 13147 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.