The Chief Executive Director of a group call” women initiative Networks in Liberia” (WIN), Madam Davidetta Davis has call on young women and girls in Liberia to stand firm in the fight against rape t and take self initiatives in order to combat gender- based violence issues in country.
The young women initiative network is Non- Governmental Organization was founded on May 19, 2017, to educate women and girls to take self initiatives in different perspectives in fight against rape in Liberia.
According to her, the formation of WIN came as a result, after reading a South African drama series called “Dancing Queen”, that illustrated the story of young beautiful South African girl who was raped but decided not to tell her story to anyone.
“When I got through reading the drama series, I realized that there are many young beautiful women and girls who might have gone or going through similar condition but decided not to speak out”. Madam Davis said.
She added that there are some young women and girls who might want to speak out their stories of being raped but do not want to take self initiative by reporting the cases to relevant authorities but chose to remain mute and await pressure from parents or other community leaders.
Speaking in Monrovia at the Anti Rape Speaker Series Program held in the conference hall of Muslim Congress High School on Mechline street, Madam Davis stated that in as much as National Government and other intentional partners have joined the fight against rape and other gender based violence issues in Liberia, young women and girls must also take self initiatives by reporting any issue of rape, citing which will help to combat rape and also helps to serve as deterrent to who be perpetrators in society.
She said there is a need young women and girls start to create a medium that will educate and inform people in society, especially teenagers who are on the average of being raped so that they will learn how to report rape cases to relevant authorities, and also understand other preventive measures.
” Rape is a serious issue in the country, and we all know about it. It is happening right around us. We see and hear about babies being raped. I do not think is about sexual pleasure because how men can creates sexual feelings for a baby? It totally insane and we must stand firm to protect our girls by creating the awareness, informing them on the necessary preventive measures and also cautions them standup and report rape cases, which help to prevent ourselves”. Madam Davis noted.
It can be recalled, the President of the Republic of Liberia George Manneh Weah has declared a National Emergency Issues through a proclamation, and right after His Excellency issued the proclamation, and the Cabinets convened and received the National Anti Rape and Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), announced the appointment of a Special Prosecutor for rape and established a National ” Sex Offenders Registry”.
Madam Davis indicated if the fight against rape in Liberia will not be considered by everyone as it was stated by President Weah as National Emergency issues, reporting cases and explain case of any nature relatively to gender based violence, might destroyed the future of young women and girls in society; noting that the issue of gender equality in the country will not be realized because there might not be many girls, to compete with their male counterpart in any given opportunity. Because girls who are being do not have the enthusiastic to go to school due to trauma.
Speaking to one of the participants Freena S. Kokoi age 15, and 10th grade student of Williams VS Tubman High school, expressed her gratitude to the founder and members of Women Initiative Network (WIN) for organizing such a unique platform that affords the opportunity to teenagers like herself to listen to the meaning of rape and how its can be prevented in the community.
” Well, I must be grateful to God Almighty for having me as one of the participants in this program, and I have learned lot of things about rape and how to prevent myself and my community. And one key message that I gathered was, to speak out whenever one is being raped”. Kokoi said.
According to the teenager, the issue of speaking out or reporting rape cases should not only be in the hands of the victims, but also dwellers in the community. Because there are some victims might not want to speak out due to the threat from perpetrators or even family threat as well.
Little Kokoi added that it is important to stand up and be an advocate of rape and gender based violence. People must not wait for the victims to come out before reporting cases to relevant authorities because it might gives the chance to the perpetrator to escape, citing they should always create awareness that will provide the education to young girls on the issue of rape and gender based violence.
Meanwhile, Kokoi noted that lack of information and education are contributing factors to the issue of rape and other gender based violence in the country. She stated in order to achieve in the fight against rape, people in the communities need to be informed and educated on the subject matters as she calls on families, members of (WIN) as well as young women to prioritize information discrimination so that people will learn how to carry on all necessary preventive measures for the betterment of the Liberian society.