…As ORWOCH Launches Baseline Survey On Domestic Violence Law
By: Staff Writer
Liberia: Some magistrates across Montserrado County have stressed the need to have a specialized ‘Domestic Law Court’ to exclusively tried domestic violence cases.
According to the magistrates, Magisterial Courts are not specialize courts and so creating an extra court to focus only on domestic violence cases will help as Sexual and Gender Based Violence cases continue to increase.
Speaking during the validation of the domestic violence law held by the organization for women and children (ORWCH), Magistrate Abraham Nyenway noted that domestic violence issue needs to be treated with carefulness.
Nyenway also agreed to have a domestic law court as it will squarely be based on dealing with persistent non-support and all form of domestic violence cases.
He further named cultural intervention or influence as one of the major contributor of domestic abuse or violence cases.
Similarly, Magistrate Andrew Bropleh blamed the issue of compromised to traditional influence thus stressing the need to create awareness among communities because not too many women are aware that what they go through is a crime and a violation of their rights.
Magistrate Bropleh further that there is still need to do more awareness on the law because it since that the law does not exist though it has been around for years.
According to him, most prosecutors are not also aware of the law as the result they only rely on 16.6 of the penal code that talks about support to child and family.
Bropleh holds that the domestic violence law is able to address the different issues around violence women and children suffered that is when prosecution are aware and acknowledgeable about the law.
In addition to establishing a domestic law court, magistrate Melvin Maculay wants a safe home created as the only way to do away with compromised. “Settling persistent non-support cases out of court is in the interest of the kids and not intended to sealed crimes as people see it.”
At the same time, Facia Harris, Executive Director of Paramout Young Women Initiative thanked ORWCH for providing CSOs with data that is very important for them to continue the advocacy surrounding the domestic violence law.
Ms. Harris termed as new the domestic violence law and will serve as deterrence when there are success story, “domestic violence is private or personnel issue so if a women step out to say I am felt-up, it means that is grave.
She continues “we are in support of the court and we want to also be in support of us by implementing the law and joining us in the advocacy.
Presenting findings from the baseline study conducted, ORWCH Executive Director Mmonbeydo Joah sad lots of women suffered acts that are detrimental to their survival.
She explained that of the total of 28 cases monitored, persistence non-support accounts for the highest, this shows most women are still suffering from persistent economic violence in Liberia.
“62 percent of cases were handled during pre-trial conference. City Solicitor general did not know nor have copy of the law. She further “Not much has changed since the baseline study was conducted.”
She also recommended that one of the courts within the magistrate court be set aside exclusively to hear domestic violence cases, something she believes will lead to the full implementation of the law by magistrate.