At least 10% of children who were involve in the 110 Sexual Gender Based Violence or SGBV cases reported over the last 10 months died as a result of those violence meted out against them, Dr. Peter Coleman, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Gender has revealed.
Though Dr. Coleman did not say what happened to those perpetrators, he said there was a need to revisit the law on rape, saying “if any victim dies of rape, that perpetrator needs to be charged for murder.”
He spoke at the official program marking the opening of the 16 Days of activism against SGBV, on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 when Liberia joined the World in celebrating 16 days of activism against SGBV.
Also speaking at the launch of the 16 Days of activism, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf warned parents to take a lead role in preventing their children from being sexually abused.
President Sirleaf emphasized that the message should go forth to the churches and other religious gathering so that the children of Liberia can be freed from being sexually abused. She also warned teachers in various schools to put an end to exploiting children for grades.
The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Julia Duncan Cassell said enough is enough, adding that there must be an end to sexual violence against all children regardless of gender.
She said sexual assault denies a girl child’s freedom as early marriage traumatized a girl child and tear the society apart. “Let’s join forces to end this crime” she noted.
The head of the Traditional Counsel Chief Zanzan Karwor said that the Government needs to put stop to cars that are plying the roads without license plate. He said those are cars that people use in this country to kill the children to get power.
He noted that people are not only sexually abusing the Liberian youths but they are also killing them to get in power and get rich. “This thing is too much, our children are dying every day, if you want power, do good thing so that the people can vote for you and not to kill and rape our children.” he said.
The head of the children Parliament Satta Sheriff noted that the violence and abuse of children in Liberia is on the rise, especially exploitation of children in schools. “Stop raping us, give us a space so that we can show to the society how productive we are” she noted.
The 16 days of Activism against Gender Base Violence is a Global campaign dedicated to ending gender based violence against young girls and boys. The 16 days campaign will focus on four priority areas while advocating for safe spaces and education to strengthen community ownership in the fight to eradicate sexual and Gender Base violence.
The 16 days campaign will highlight other significant days like; November 29 International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, December 1, World Aids day, December 3 International Day of Disabled persons, December 6 Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre and December 10 International Human Rights Day.
By Ethel A. Tweh -Edited by Othello B. Garblah