Monrovia Goes ‘BLACK’ to End Rape in Liberia

by: Lisa Tenneh Diasay

Liberia-August 25, 2020-WTVNEWS: Several Women, Children, Youths, and Activists Tuesday, began a three-day Protest and sit-in action to draw Government’s attention to end Rape in Liberia.

The March came amid the hike in the over 900 cases reported from January to July 2020, a statistic showing from the Ministry of Gender.

The protesters held placards with different inscriptions expressing grief and dismay over the increase in cases of Rape and other Sexual and Gender-based Violence.

They marched through sinkor to Capitol Hill, the office of the Liberian government, chanting anti-rape slogans and demanding justice for rape survivors.

Arriving at the Foreign Ministry, Min. Piso Tarr came to receive the petition on behalf of President George Weah which the protesters refused. “We will not give our petition to the Gender Minister if Pres. Weah can’t come to receive our petition, we will carry it back”, the protesters chanted.

Moments following the scuffle at the Foreign Ministry, the Protesters met some members of the Leadership of the House of Representatives to present their Petition at the Legislature.
“Today we stand at a significant point in our society as a nation, a point that has the propensity to secure a bright and prosperous future for this current generation and others to come or take us backward and undo some of the significant strides we have made towards making our country great again” the petition highlighted.

Though the protesters were prevented from entering the Capitol building yard Representatives of the group read and presented their Petition.

Little Irene Smith read the petition on behalf of the protesters. “Mothers and daughters are under attack on a daily basis by perpetrators that have no fear of bearing the full weight of the law”.

According to Irene Smith rape has become a pandemic across the country with hundreds of cases across the country and the number of members keep climbing exponentially.

The petition indicated that the outrageous acts of rape are only persisting due to the weakness of the justice system and perpetrators walk with impunity owing to lapses created within the system.

“As the first branch of government you were elected to push the best interest of your people, we have come to you peaceful as citizens and people who elected you to see a reason to take the necessary steps, make the relevant decisions and take a stand against those inhumane acts” the Petition noted.

It added that lawmakers have the power and play an important role in making the drastic changes that are needed to end this pandemic, and they were resilient in saying “Enough is Enough”.

The Petition among other things recommended that the Legislature Increase budgetary allocations in the FY 2020/2021 budget and subsequent budgets for criminal court “E” and as well to facilitate the strengthening of the judicial system speedy trial of rape and other sexual and gender-based violence or SGBV cases including the hiring of more judges to hear and determine rape and SGBV cases speedy in an expeditious manner.

The petition furthered recommended the Increase in budgetary allotment for the health care delivery systems and to ensure that all counties have functional safe homes to accommodate survivors of rape and others SGBV cases.

The House’s Leadership members including Hon. Marvin Cole, Bong County, Hon. Julie Wiah, Lofa County, Hon. A. Kanie Wesso, Gbarpolu County, Hon. Thomas Goshua, Grand Bassa County and Hon. P. Mike Jurry, Maryland County.

Receiving the petition, House Committee Chair on Gender, Hon. Julie Wiah commended the protesters for the peaceful assembly and promised to ensure that the counts in the petition are delivered to the plenary for action.

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