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U.S. Embassy Joins Liberia’s Fight Against SGBV

The U.S. Embassy says it stands with all those who have joined to fight Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the country.
The Embassy stressed that preventing and addressing violence against women, girls and others who are vulnerable is human rights imperative, not only in Liberia, but globally.
Last week, some concerned Liberian citizens peacefully called attention to Sexual-and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), protesting the high incidence of rape cases in Liberia, the impunity of perpetrators and the lack of support for survivors; thereby presenting a copy of their petition to the U.S. Embassy.
In a release issued by the Embassy, it recognized that from rape to intimate partner violence to harassment and intimidation of activists, SGBV remains pervasive and established that no country has been capable of ending this menace.
“SGBV threatens the health and safety of survivors and is a barrier to social and economic development. In responding to SGBV, we must listen to the voices of the survivors and their allies, voices which have been suppressed too long and too often,” the Embassy noted.
Underscoring the importance of protecting the rights to peacefully exercise freedom of expression, petition, and assembly, the U.S. Embassy commended the efforts of President George M. Weah in putting forth a well-considered Roadmap to end Sexual and Gender-based Violence that includes a comprehensive prevention strategy and commitment to funding for various ministries to support the strategy.
“Taking practical actions such as establishing an SGBV call center and providing resources for survivor’s support will demonstrate the Government of Liberia’s resolve,” the Embassy maintained.
The Embassy is therefore urging the government to target resources to survivors, take a strong stand against Female Genital Mutilation which is a harmful traditional practice in most part of the country as well as ensuring its swift and transparent prosecution.
The Embassy further realized that ending SGBV will require active persistence, and above all, unified leadership from policymakers, health practitioners, community and faith-based groups, law enforcement and civil society groups.
The U.S. Embassy, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), partners stand with Liberians to address SGBV in all its forms and to share best practices and lessons learned.
The Embassy recalled that the USAID “My Voice Platform” was launched in June 2020 in Margibi County to receive SMS messages or phone calls from victims of SGBV to provide instant referral to support services.
It said since then USAID’s advocacy has resulted in the collection and inclusion of SGBV data, including information on FGM and domestic violence using the 2019-2020 Liberia Demographic and Health Survey (LDHS) to help inform effective responses to the problem.
The Embassy calls on all Liberians to move forward and turn last week’s demonstrations into robust actions against SGBV as the United States continues to support the people and Government of Liberia in fighting this scourge.

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