8,404 Cases reported in President Weah’s Regime.
Gender-Based Violence is harmful acts directed at an individual based on their gender. It is rooted in gender inequality, the abuse of power, and harmful norms. Also, violence (SGBV) is a serious violation of human rights and a life-threatening health and protection issue. It is estimated that one in three women will experience sexual or physical violence in their lifetime. During displacement and times of crisis, the threat of SGBV significantly increases for women and girls.
Even though it is unacceptable and has become an issue of National Emergency in Liberia, it is still commonly committed and on the increase. Since the ascendancy of Mr. George Weah’s Presidency in 2018, the country has reported 8,404 SGBV cases. SGBV includes and is not limited to Domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Gang rape, and Rape/sodomy among others.
Investigating the statistics per annual in Liberia; the second year of the Mr. Weah Administration, “2019” has shown the highest rate of Gender Base violence with 2708 violations, while rape/gang rape and sodomy was 1874 in total, Physical Assault 566, Sexual Assault 268, with 0-17 rape child 165 survivors and 18+ Adult rape 223.
In 2018, 2105 SGBV cases were reported which includes, 1345 rape/ gang rape and sodomy, 398 of physical assault, 362 sexual assault, 1210 from 0-17 child rape, and 135, 18 above Adult rape. Meanwhile, 2020 statistics have shown that 1830 populates suffered from SGBV; 1284 rape/gang rape and sodomy, 410 physical assaults, 136 sexual assaults, 1284 from 0-17 child rape with 82 from 18 above Adult rapes.
Also, in 2021 SGBV statistics prove, that 1761 SGBV Cases were committed: female 1716, Male: 45, Denial of resources 169, Domestic violence 190, Emotional Abuse, Gang rape 49, Rape/sodomy 1150, with 198 Sexual Assault. For rape which is the most focus point among SGBV cases, the President of Liberia, George Manneh Weah officially declared rape a National Emergency on September 11, 2020.
Following the successful conclusion of a two days National Anti-Rape and Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) Conference that was convened by the Liberian Government to validate the National Roadmap on Rape and SGBV, Mr. Weah declared rape a National Emergency. The Liberian Leader then set up the Inter-ministerial Taskforce which included; Justice and Gender Ministries among others, while the Gender Ministry is currently serving as a Chair for the Taskforce.
In remarks at the end of the national stakeholders’ conference on September 9, 2020, and following the receipt of the communiqué derived from deliberations at the conference, the Feminist-In-Chief, President George Weah promised his administration to move with deliberate speed in ensuring commendations presented be carefully and expeditiously addressed.
The declaration of the National Rape Emergency on Friday, September 11, 2020, which come barely two days out of the national anti-rape conference held on September 8-9, 2020, fulfilled that promise of the President and his zero-tolerance stances on rape and SGBV cases. According to the Proclamation, the Roadmap shall serve as a working tool to address all forms of rape and other sexual and gender-based violence within the short, medium, and long terms, from September 2020 to September 2022.
Under the National Rape Emergency, President Weah declared initial measures that include the appointment of a Special Prosecutor for rape; the setting up of a National Sex Offender Registry; the establishment of a National Security Taskforce on SGBV, and the allotment of an initial amount of US$2 Million to beef up the fight against rape and SGBV in the country.
Following the issuance of the proclamation, President George Manneh Weah said his administration would spare no effort in ensuring that rape and SGBV epidemic scourging the country is curtailed.
Meanwhile, the Liberian Chief Executive assured additional measures to be announced subsequently including Executive Orders to protect the vulnerable and to ban harmful traditional practices. “My Administration will spare no effort in ensuring that the epidemic of rape and all forms of SGBV is curtailed in Liberia. I, therefore, urge all Liberians, activists, and advocates, along with local and international stakeholders, to work with the government in defeating the scourge of rape in our country” the president noted.
However, in an effort to inquire for additional information in this article, the Communication bureau of the Gender Ministry provided us with basic information with no proper references and detailed information upon filing the Freedom of Information (FIO) request.
Reported by: Joseph Tumbey
Contact: (+231) 777941209.