Grand Kru County Senator Peter Coleman has said that if the fight against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) is to be won, the rape laws must be revisited.
Coleman wants laws against rape and other SGBV crimes to be recalibrated so that the justice system can use the law as a deterrent to perpetrators of rape and violence against girls and women.
Speaking Wednesday at the launch and commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence, Coleman stressed that given the increase in the number of rape cases, more needs to be done to bring an end to such unwholesome act.
Coleman, who also chairs the Senate Committee on Gender, also attributed the rise in rape cases and gender-based violence to informal adjudication and compromise at homes or in communities by some parents and community leaders.
Coleman wants parents and community dwellers to desist from acts that compromise sexual violence against women and girls, and rather report such incidences to constituted authorities for a more guaranteed and formal adjudication.
“Rape is not a situation that must be compromised; as a matter of fact, the statistics that we are getting might be understated because there is a high percentage of rape cases that are being compromised at the community level,” Coleman indicated.
According to the Grand Kru Senator, due to the number of children who have died as a result of injuries sustained from rape, he will be proposing to his colleagues at the National Legislature to interpret death occasioned by rape as murder.
Coleman also observed that the issue of SGBV is not being articulated at the highest level of Liberia’s political spectrum, noting that that such issue can only be addressed through increased women participation or affirmative action.