In the wake of rising number of rape cases that have prompted days of mass protests in Liberia, prominent female lawyer Cllr. Pear Brown – Bull is challenging women here to abstain from sex and deny their spouses of sex for one month as part of protest.
“I say abstain from sex. Don’t give it to them for one month, starting today. Proclamation. I started mine,” she said last week on the third day of the anti – rape protest in Monrovia and other parts of Liberia.
Cllr. Bull also calls on mothers here to pay attention to their children, and to also get in the streets and grab every child that is sent out there to sell when they should be in school instead.
“… We got law for vagrancy, so Gender Ministry, all y’all mothers today while some of y’all sitting down there the other group supposed to be on the street grabbing the people’s children who they got … in the street selling and carry them to the police station and let the parents come,” she says.
Meanwhile, Cllr. Bull argues that indecent dress code could be one of the factors for rape, but she strongly suggests that it is not the factor when a three – year – old gets raped.
She recalls that in the past women wore miniskirts and did not get raped for their dress code, and that when women in rural places came out from the Sande bush only wearing [short clothes] and leaving their upper body parts exposed, did not also get raped.
This anti – rape protest which has attracted women, men and children from all walks of live comes as reports of rape cases continue to rise here of recent with victims even less than a year – old and in some cases, the perpetrators acting very brutally to prey on their victims.
In one case that emerged from Gbarpolu County of recent, a perpetrator is accused of using razor blade to cut the private part of a three – year – old girl so as to pave his way to abuse her sexually.
Liberia’s former President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf joined the anti – rape protest last week, saying women’s demonstration against recent incidents of rape against women and babies as young as three months old, ten years old is as good for the country.
The mass protest against rape entered its third day in Monrovia Thursday, 27 August, but throughout the days President George Manneh Weah continued to avoid appearing in honor of protesters’ demand for him to receive their petition.
This is probably a reason for the extension of the protest which stalled normal movements and could also affect normal economic operations as the days of protest increase and residents in other counties are reported to join the protest. What is responsible for Mr. Weah’s failure to show up and receive protesters’ petition may be best known to him.
In an audio aired on local FM broadcasters Thursday, Mr. Weah is heard criticizing the protesters for presenting their petition to a team from the U.S. Embassy, but yet refused to present it to officials of his government that he had designated to receive it.
“If will accept a team from the American Embassy which is not wrong at all, and you understand, and then refuse to accept a team from your government to receive your petition then you can see that it doesn’t make sense,” he says.
By Winston W. Parley