Below the Header Ad

Rescuing our children from rape and sodomy

Above Article Ad

Liberia is gradually but seriously descending to moral decadence where family values and societal standards have slipped thru the window, allowing immorality to take its seat in homes, churches, public offices and even market places.

Our attention is specifically drawn to the increasing wave of domestic violence permeating the country, including rape and sodomy of our young girls and boys by men, some time two or three times their ages, resulting to severe injuries and death.

Here are several cases: Police in Monrovia are investigating a man for raping and impregnating his 15-year-old step-daughter, while a young man is being held by police for reportedly raping a 12-year-old girl in Tuan town, resulting to death and another male adult is undergoing police investigation for sodomizing a nine-year-old boy near the headquarters of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change in Congo Town, outskirt of Monrovia. Last month, a young man shot and killed his fiancé in Kakata, Margib County after the later quitted the relation, while a man killed his lover in Bong County with a machete for suspected unfaithfulness.

Violence of any kind in homes and communities pose serious risks not just to parents but children as well, who are the most vulnerable in a family. As the first line of protection for the home, parents have a duty to protect wellbeing of children under their care, particularly in the midst of a major health pandemic.

But under the excuse of going out to hustle for food for the family, most parents leave their children vulnerable to evil-minded men, who prey on them to quench their insatiable sexual desires like the case involving the 15-year-old minor who has forcibly become a mother thru the wicked behavior of someone who should have provided guidance over her life.

Instead, he took advantage of her vulnerability when the mother left her home and sexually abused her with threats not to tell anyone. What about the stories of the nine-year-old lad, who was sodomized and the 12-year-old girl, who died subsequently at the James R. Davies Memorial hospital in Paynesville? The lack of parental care and guidance are responsible.

Parents and guardians should be reminded in no uncertain terms that providing care and guidance for our children does not stop at putting food on the table or paying school fees, as much as these are important. But it also encompasses overseeing the wholesome wellbeing of the child or children, which includes health, clothes, physical and emotional fitness, among others.

Liberia has a strong rape law and a fast track court (Court ‘E’) at the Temple of Justice to specifically try rape cases and bring suspected perpetrators to justice. The Government of Liberia, under former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf enacted a new rape law, amending the Penal Code of June 1976 Chapter 14, Section 14.70 and 14.71, respectively, making the crime nonbailable. According to the Rape Law of January 2006, a person who has sexual intercourse with another person (male and female) without his or her consent, has committed rape that is punishable by 10 years or life imprisonment, depending on the degree of the rape which may be categorized as (rape of a minor, rape resulting in serious bodily harm, rape using a weapon, and gang rape), respectively.

But the Liberian Senate in 2017 amended the new Rape Law, making it bailable. The Senate Judiciary Committee argued that the punishment for rape as provided in the Rape Law is excessive and therefore unconstitutional, citing Article 21 (d) (ii) of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, which states that excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor excessive punishment inflicted on perpetrators.

Notwithstanding, we still believe strongly that though the law is on the book or it may have been modified as per the Senate’s amendment, the first line of defend for children is parents. If parents truly care and love their children, they would go extra mile in ensuring their wellbeing, and by extension reducing domestic and sexual violence in our communities.

Please follow and like us:
error2
Tweet 20
fb-share-icon20

Back to top button
>
error

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

RSS
Follow by Email
Twitter
Close