The Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia or AFELL emphasized that sexual and gender base violence in Liberia needs serious attention, noting that on a daily basis innocent girls suffer lot of violence, including rape and physical attacks from men.
AFEL is a group of female lawyers that engages in advocating for the right of women and girls in the society. The Association added that quite recently, local media reported that about 60 rape cases are in Montserrado County and other parts of the country, something, which it said should be condemned every member of society.
Speaking on UNMIL Radio morning program Coffee Break, the President of AFELL Attorney Vivian Neal said, for too long women and girls have suffered rape committed by men, who often find it pleasurable to abuse the opposite sex.
“But let use this medium to send this message, as a measure for every parent to protect their girls children, because most often the girls are vulnerable, and these are contributing factors that lead to their child or children being raped”, she advised.
According to her, recent studies conducted in several counties in Liberia show a large percentage of women and girls becoming victims of various forms of violence and abuse, adding that reports of international organizations show that a large percentage of these women were raped.
“As many of you know, a rape law was passed in our country, and the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia will enforce without fear or favour this law; will support and increase the writ of laws that restore the dignity of women and girls, ensure that they receive real protection from sexual violence and abuse in their homes and communities, and that survivors of sexual violence receive qualitative reproductive health services and necessary care to address the horrifying violence they have endured”, Attorney Neal concluded.
Rape is capital offense that is non-bailable under the law of Liberia. Penalties range from ten years imprisonment and life sentence.
The Government of Liberia has established a special court –Criminal Court “E” at the Temple of Justice on Capitol Hill to fast track rape cases, but the challenge is most complainants do not appear in court.