The Borough of New Kru town, on Bushrod Islands came alive when Liberian students joined UNICEF and the government to launch anti-rape against children under theme “Sara Let’s speak” out to be the centerpiece of school based efforts to end child sexual abuse in Liberia.
Speaking during the program over the weekend, the Deputy Minister of Research and Technical Services at the Ministry of Gender and Development, Annette Kiaw told residents of New Kru town and the student community that the end of violence against children initiative targets children and young people in schools and communities.
The Deputy Minister said violence against children, especially sexual and gender based violence is a major threat to their lives, affects their families, communities and the whole nation.
Minister Kiaw also said efforts, including numerous prevention and awareness initiatives and passing of legislations have been undertaken by the government and partners, noting that these interventions reported cases that remain alarmingly high and that in vast majority of cases survivors are minors.
According to her, a total of 2, 159 sexual and gender based violence cases were reported, 971 of them rape perpetrated against children between ages 10 months and 15 years. She said 28 of those cases involved boys, and 10 of the victims were females who died during the rape process. Minister Kiaw said the Ministry of Gender and Development will take the lead in processes involving training and coordination of state actors in strategies and responses.
The acting UNICEF representative here Fazlul Haque, said students, particularly 4th and 5th graders would be given relevant and accurate information on how to stay safe from sexual abuse and steps to take in responding to incidents of rape.