17 December 2012

Liberia: Report - Over 200 Persons Physically, Sexually Abused

A new statistical report obtained from the Ministry of Gender and Development Gender-Base Violence Unit (GBV-Unit) has divulged that 236 persons, mostly adolescence girls between ages13-17, were physically and sexually abused. The Statistical Report pointed out that these abuses occurred between the month of June and July 2012.

The report was obtained by this paper on December 13, 2012 from the Ministry's GBV-Unit Research Center in Monrovia. The statistics is a monthly report of the Ministry of and Gender and Development. It is aimed at tracking GBV cases across the country in a national database.

The statistical report indicated that the 236 physical and sexual abuses were gathered from the Liberia National Police Women and Children Protection Section (LNPWACPS) and the GBV-Unit among others. The abuses range from attempted rape, child abuse, domestics violence, gang rape, physical assault; statutory rape, sexual assault and teenage pregnancy.

The statistics further divulged that 13.5% of the adolescence, mostly adolescent girls, were sexually and physically abused by family members. According to the report, 25% was committed by closed friends and 32% by spouse/intimate partners.

Meanwhile, the report added that 86.5% of the victims are responding to medical treatment at 17 health center across the country. The Ministry of Gender and Development's GBV-Unit said the other abused persons have been transferred to safe home for post traumatic disorder treatment.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of the sexual and physical cases occurred in Montserrado County, 9.4% in Margibi, 9% in Bong, and 6.4% Bomi Counties respectively. The United Nations (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 2012 declared that sexual and physical abused based on gender is equivalent to crime against humanity.

Liberia has signed and ratified that declaration. It remains to be seen how the government with support from its international partners will tackle the continued sexual and physical abuse of people, particularly adolescence in post conflict Liberia.

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