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VP Craves For Increased Punishment For SGBV Perpetrators

The Vice President, Jewel Howard-Taylor, has called on the judiciary branch of government to increase sentences for perpetrators of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in the country.
Speaking at the start of a two-day national Judiciary Colloquium conference held at the Monrovia City Hall (MCC) recently, VP Taylor stated that the Judiciary must also do more to give harsh punishments to perpetrators to give a strong signal that SGBV is unacceptable at all cost.
“If you rape a child under 3 years, I think those people must get maximum sentences and additional fund to be made available, so that all of the SGBV centers at every police station can step up high on those cases.” the VP asserted.
She lamented that the situation is sadden and heart-broken to most of them, especially their mothers, adding that she’s not sure why women remain the center point of violence by men across the nation and kids being murdered in cool blood, as well as their young daughters also being raped.
“Is it an economic situation, or is this the societal norms which alludes that everything is possible and acceptable now? Has it become a negative culture to make women, children to be used as a man wishes? We must also ensure that factual evidence is gathered in a timely manner in order to bring perpetrators to book against sexual gender based violence,” she pointed out.
Those who abuse children are normally in the family setting and we must do more to provide information to our children in the community and at their schools so that they can be able to know that this is unacceptable, Madam Taylor intoned.
According to her, if a person is raped, it’s no longer a family issue, rather, a state matter and parents should not allow cases to be compromised, something she frowned on, stressing that it is acceptable and hoped they listen and stop waving their rights.
She added that there is much more work that needs to be done if the number of cases been heard each day are real, noting that this colloquium on spotlight initiative will speak about sexual gender based violence and the alarming situation in the nation which is saddened by women and children will mitigate.
The VP however called on women to give more attention to their children and stand any changes in their behavior stating that normally “there are signs you see from your child that tells you that you need to pay attention to them.”
The Vice President explained that women must stop using their daughters as instruments of finance and stop putting them in a situation where they have to be the bread-winners for their family.
“Maybe we need to amend the law of bringing women to book who are in the habit of sending their children on the streets, because this is totally unacceptable,” she intoned.
She added that children must be given total information, stating that parents are not doing well in providing information at all level, even in the elementary level, children should know the sign of sexual abuse to say no and be in the position to report the matter.
She also urged women to organize a community engagement in order to move from door to door in sending messages that children must be protected and that they can get the necessary education they need at all level to mitigate this.
For her part, the executive Director for Women Empowerment for Self Employment (WE4SELF) Madam Grace Scotland Brimah said this is an opportunity to strengthen coordination, build network and formulate draft policy recommendations that will make way to the legislature.
According to her the United Nations Office of the High Commissions for Human Rights and Women Empowerment for Self-Employment entered a grant agreement to implement SGBV in five spotlight counties which includes Grand Gedeh, Nimba, Lofa, Cape Mount and Montserrado County.
“We have come to know the process of the court and the judges will tell us why someone will rape and be freed from jail because SGBV remains one of the most human right violations against women and girls,” Brimah noted.
She then expressed her gratitude to UN Women for such initiative and applauded VP Taylor for being the champion of SGBV in Liberia and flagging the entire women issues in the country.

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