21 December 2012

Liberia: Man Pours Raw Acid On Fiancée

A 22-year old woman, Tenneh Sonie of Gba Town, Bomi County has explained to this paper how she was inhumanely treated by her boy friend which led to her sustaining serious wounds on her body.

In an interview with this paper recently in Gba Town, Tenneh said she and her boy friend (Varney Robert) have two children and have lived together for the past six years without any problem, but said that, "at certain time his behavior towards me started changing. He started insulting, beating, and disgracing me in public and this became his habit. He also refused to listen to parental advice to stop the ugly act towards me.

So for me since he was not willing to change, I too decided to leave him and live alone along with my two children." she narrated.

Tenneh: "After sometime of separation, one evening Varney came to my room and met me lying down. He told me to get up. While I was sitting down he took our little baby from me and carried him near the door. When I asked him why he took the baby from me, he did not answer, but simply walked to me and wasted acid on my head which spread all over my body."

She said the situation made her feel very bad and discouraged about living with Varney any longer.

According to her, Varney was arrested after the incident and is still in police custody pending court trial.

"Another ugly thing is that I am struggling with the two children that both us have with no help from any person." Tenneh lamented.

For her part, the Coordinator of the Gender Base Violence (GBV) Unit at the Ministry of Gender and development, Madam Deddeh KweKwe said that the issue of domestic violence especially 'wife battling' is very alarming.

"Just recently, we had one incident like that in Nimba County, where the husband shot his wife with a single barrel gun. But luckily the woman didn't die. We won that case and the man was sentenced to five years in prison. We also relocated the woman," Madam Kwekwe stated.

She said many survivors who report their cases to the Ministry are taken care of through an endowment fund. "Depending on the gravity of the case, we send some of them to our save homes in any part of the country where the incident took place. Some are sent to hospital for treatment and we also make available money for some of the survivors to empower themselves," Madam Kwekwe noted.

Madam Kwekwe, who did not state specific statistic, said even though numerous of domestic cases are reported to the Ministry, but a significant of them are settled in homes without the consent of the Ministry. "Some of them settle their cases at homes because of the fear of losing their relationship."

Article five of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states; "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. On the same note, Article 12 of the Constitution of Liberia states that "no one shall be held in slavery or force labor within the Republic nor shall neither any citizens of Liberia nor any person resident therein deal in slaves or subject any other person to force labor, debt bondage or peonage."

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