The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection wishes to inform the public that its’ county teams are fully engaged in the process of advocating for access to justice for female victims in the wave of recent atrocious and heinous attacks, especially in Sinoe County.
According to a statement from the Gender Ministry signed by its Minister, said “We want to assure the public that these cases are being closely followed and the Ministry through its Gender Coordinator and County Team, have been working with other authorities on the unfortunate incidents in Sinoe County. We firmly condemn these horrible acts in the harshest terms.
The belief in harmful traditional practice to such barbaric and inhumane torture and abuse of Liberian women- is totally unacceptable. Beyond the inhumane treatment of the victims, this horrible situation also resulted into the death of one of the women who was pregnant. This is tragic and sad and our hearts are with the family of the deceased victim.
In such a dispensation where we continue to accelerate not just national efforts but also galvanize global resources and step up collective efforts in order to curb gender violence, abuse and curtail the ascription of harmful traditional practices here in Liberia, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection takes utter exception to these kinds of outrageous acts across our country. These acts are cruel; they are brutal; they are sickening and we would like to emphatically say that there is a special place in hell for perpetrators of these acts.
At this point, we would like to further inform the public that as the Ministry charged to protect the rights and ensure the wellbeing of women, girls, and the vulnerable in our society, we shall continue to play our mandated role. Please be aware that in the particular case of the heartbreaking Sinoe atrocities in December of 2018, we have been providing victims’ care through medical treatments and psychosocial support. We’ll also like to inform the public that through the aid of our county team and other relevant authorities, the Liberia National Police has arrested seven (7) suspects who have since been forwarded to court for prosecution.
We cannot overemphasize the extent to which we frown at such gruesome barbarism, such primitive cruelty, which we believe, deeply undermines the sanctity of human civilization. Conversely, this act contravenes Goal 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals, which calls for “Peace and Justice through strong institutions”. The recognition and utilization of the rule-of-law is the best recourse for any democratic nation and as such, we call on every Liberian to refrain from, and fight against, this wave of violence against women, which includes harmful traditional practice, mob violence, or taking the laws into our own hands. Parents, Family members and Citizens, we need to allow the Justice System to work, because we are a Country of laws, we must therefore put it to test at all times. Let’s stop taking matters into our own hands. We are also ardently appealing to and calling on our Traditional Leaders to continue working hand-in-hand with government authorities in finding redress to ensuing matters.
We cannot allow these savage, despicable acts of a few to cause irreversible harm and disrepute the efforts of National Government, our International and Local Partners in progress. We look forward to continuously partnering with you all to find more innovative ways of intervening on the side of PREVENTION, than continuously chasing shadows in the aftermath of viciousness. Our prayers and thoughts are with the survivors, their families and the families of all those who have lost their lives to SGBV and HTP. We remain committed to going to the deepest lengths in advocating for justice to be well served, whilst staying engaged in our communities because change starts with us. We can be better than this. We should be better than this. Let us be better than this!
Hon Williametta E. Saydee-Tarr
Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection
Republic of Liberia