Women want life imprisonment for rapists
By Lincoln G. Peters
Women gathering at the Borough of New Kru Town, on Bushrod Island are recommending life imprisonment for rapists here.
The women under the banner; Federation of Borough Women (FOBW) said enough is enough to all violence perpetrated against women, girls and children, while demanding an immediate end to the sexual and gender-based violence being meted out against them.
“Rapists and murderers should be given lifetime imprisonment, while traffickers brought to justice,” Mrs. Georgia C. Baryor, president of the Borough women group said during an indoor symposium to climax their activities.
Rape has been on the increase here of late with babies as young as two years old being victimized. Though the country has a harsh law against rape, compromises and lack of witnesses to testify in court have continued to undermine the fight against the crime.
The women who took to the streets of New Kru Town in a peaceful march over the weekend before ending up at the indoor symposium were vociferous as they demonstrated their concerns over what they said is against their progress and rights.
Mrs. Baryor, in her position statement, said the presence of her organization among other women groups to advocate against violence perpetrated against women, girls and children is to signal out to the government and the international community that women here are saying “enough is enough.”
Mrs. Baryor said domestic violence against women and children has become the order of the day as rapists are left to roam freely without serious punishment, while children, girls and women are being trafficked.
She said as if that was not enough, women are murdered in cold blood, with their perpetrators nowhere to be found.
Mrs. Baryor argued, that it was time that the government put in place harsher measures by giving maximum punishment against perpetrators of SGBV.
The symposium was organized by the Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC) in partnership with ZOA- Liberia with support from the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund.
Delivering the keynote address Madam Celine Gboboh urged women not to compromise rape, adding that doing so will be compromising their future.
She also cautioned women not to allow their abusive husbands to beat on them because of lack of intimacy. “Women do not stay there to allow a man to mistreat you and you keep silent. Do not compromise rape, if you do that you comprise the future of the next generation.”
She also brought the argument home by frowning on acts perpetrated by women against children:
“Sometimes we beat children who are not our biological chicken, we burn parts of their bodies, it is wrong. Treat them as your own they are humans and have rights.”
“Let us be conscious of our children’s movement. Tell them about the good and the bad, violence against women is not good, don’t allow your spouse or husband to beat on you and you keep silent, (it) is not good, report it, she added.
Odell Harmon, a female officer at the program also warned parents to begin to have conversations with their children. She believes that the children are being silent on abuses perpetrated against them because they have no one to talk to.
“I believe that we as mothers are not having good conversations with our children-Talk to your children, educate them, tell them to report issues of SGBV. Mothers, please be security for your children. Stop sending your children to buy provisions at night, you make them vulnerable, “she added.
Also making a remark at the symposium, the Establishment Coordinator of the Angie Brooks International Centre (ABIC) for Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security, Counsellor Dr. Yvette Chesson-Wureh encouraged the women not to wait for people to make decisions for them but rather make decision for themselves.
“Don’t let men beat you and you stay there and think it is okay, no, never, she added and said “You can stand on your own. It is not good to think that you are worthless.” She further said, “We must have conversation with our daughters and boys, let us listen to our children.”
Speaking further, she urged the women to seek education, saying it doesn’t matter your age you can still learn. Today I am a member of the US Supreme Court Bar, saying when she got to the US, she didn’t have the immediate opportunity to go to school but she persevered and today she got the benefits. –Edited by Othello B. Garblah