Liberia: Sexual Harassment Raises Fears in Bong

Several residents of Gbecon in Kokoyah Statutory District of Bong County are said to be living in fear, following two alleged separate sexual attacks against a 24 year - old woman and a 17 year - old girl, respectively.

Our Bong County correspondent says unknown individuals are said to be sexually harassing women in the region especially during night hours. Our corresponded who visited the area recently adds that women have complained of being sexually harassed by unknown men, a situation that has left women in the region in total fear and distress.

Gbecon is situated in a mining region where people from different backgrounds including foreigners go to mine gold and other minerals. The reported sexual harassment is said to have started November last year when a 24 - year old woman was allegedly raped in the area. The situation is causing some people in the area to suspect some of those men that are operating at the gold mine in David Dean Town in Kokoyah Statutory District as being responsible for the alleged sexual attacks against women.

"We have been here since our parents gave birth to us; we have never seen such a situation. But we strongly believe that this act is being carried on by some of those boys from the gold mine," says Elder Karmo Gbleeh. He claims that he has received complaints of sexual-harassment on sever occasions, but the perpetrators of the alleged act have not been known.

"We only hear the voice in the night like somebody crying and when we order men to go there, the person will be gone. Only the victim will tell us what happened to them," he adds. Mr. Gbleeh condemns the act of sexual harassment in the area and at the same time calls on the Liberia National Police Bong County detachment to deploy more officers in the town.

"It is good to approach someone if you love her, but forcing her to have sex is something that is unlawful," he says. He vows to deploy men in the town, especially at night while awaiting police deployment.

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