13 September 2012

Liberia: Gender Ministry Official - Rape Has Become War On Babies

The Ministry of Gender and Development Wednesday September 12, 2012 disclosed in Monrovia that rape has become a new "war" against babies and adolescence girls in the country.

The Ministry made the disclosure at the opening of a one-day strategic meeting held with the Journalist Against Sexual and Gender-Based Violnce (JASA/SGBV) and the religious community. The meeting was aimed at creating awareness in the fight against SGBVs in the country.

According to the SGBV coordinator at the Ministry of Gender and Development, Deddeh Kwekwe, about 60% of all rape cases received at the unit in recent month across the country involved babies and adolescence girls. She said the some of these "wicked" acts were perpetrated against the victims by either family members or caretakers.

"It is too disheartening when you see some of these children I am telling you about. Some of them have died while receiving medical care. Others have died on the scene and wounds of some of these babies are irreparable. This is a war against the children," she said.

Although the government has made concrete efforts in combating rape by the establishment of special SGBV Units at the courts, the police stations and the Special task force at Gender and the Ministry of Justice, she said rape perpetrators continued to beat the system. She noted that most alleged rape perpetrators continue to go with impunity.

"When they are caught, the next thing you hear is that he has broken jail, this is unacceptable for us who are fighting to eliminate this crime," she said. she then called on the general public mostly parents to proper take care of their children, adding, "it is the most effective way to protect them [children] from perpetrators".

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