A new survey conducted by a group of local journalists under the banner Journalists Against Sexual and Gender Based Violence or JASAGBV in collaboration with the Ministries of Justice and Gender ranks Montserrado and Nimba Counties highest in reported rape cases.
The report which covers the period January to July 2010, a copy of which is in the position of this paper, a total of 1,296 cases of rape and other forms of sexual violence were recorded during the period under review. Of this number, 400 of these cases occurred in Montserrado County alone, while Nimba recorded 201.
The report further recorded 170 cases of domestic violence across the country. During the period under review, JASAGBV also recorded the released of 38 persons charged with rape from prison due to the lack of evidence to prosecute.
A total of 36 gang rape cases were also recorded as against four attempted rape cases and 25 sexually abused cases. Although there were 43 cases of corruption of minor and 10 cases of sexual harassment, the report maintains, only five rape cases or persons accused of rape were convicted.
Meanwhile, the group in its report disclosed that preferential treatment surfaced at the Temple of Justice during the period under review, thus taking cases from the bottom to the top. The organization fears that such has the propensity to deny people who may be or are awaiting their day in court a fair and timely trial.
JASAGBV is therefore calling on the Liberian government to ensure a fair means of selecting gender based violence case for trial.