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Women Group Wants Death Penalty For Rapists If…

By Bill W. Cooper

In observance of the International Day of the Girl Child, several women groupings are calling on the government of Liberia through the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary branches to impose “death penalty” for rapists or would-be rapists if they sexually harass children below age 17 years.
The women group included Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), the Girls Advocacy Alliance (GAA) Network, members of the Child Protection Network and other like-minded organizations in the country.
In their position statement read by student Lorrie G. Vesselee of the William V.S. Tubman High School yesterday at FAWE office in Sinkor, the women grouping among many things said that their decision was triggered by the fact that vulnerable girls and women are plunged into a nightmare of sexual exploitation and abuse daily by their male counterparts in the country.
According to the women, the most inhumane act and the worst human rights abuse in the country of Liberia have occurred in recent time ranging from the 3-year old girl whose private part was torn by razor blade prior to her being severely raped, and the over 30 girls from age 10-15 that were also raped and infected with HIV at the More Than Me Academy that subsequently led to the closure of the school.
The women added, “We must act now and leave no stone unturned in the fight against sexual abuse of our girls and young women. Do not sit down supinely because it is not in your case; let us all join hands with FAWE; the Girls Advocacy Alliance and Child Protection Networks and partners to fight against rape in our society.”
However, the women grouping also recommended to the government to impose 50 years imprisonment with hard labor to rapists if the survivor is 18 years and above; that the government must also train technicians to operate and manage the DNA machines that will anytime soon be brought into the country by government.
Others are the immediate trail of rape cases on the docket; that the Ministry of Education should include family norms in the curriculum and that there should also be a standard data collection and follow-ups on children and women raped in the country.
Meanwhile, Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) in collaboration with Girls Advocacy Alliance (GAA) and Child Protection Networks has officially launched its “Stop Rape Campaign” during the observance of the International Day of the Girl Child celebrated under the global theme ‘My Voice, Our Equal Future’ and the national theme ‘Let The Voice of Girls Be Louder Empowering them an Equal Future’ at FAWE office in Sinkor.
Serving as the Chief Launcher, DCI Executive Director, Foday Kawah said nowadays, rape has become the second most seriously reported crime in the country, noting that it is also a crime against humanity and the violation of one’s human rights.
He added that though there is still hope to end the menace and bring perpetrators to justice, but stated that it will also require the government’s full intervention, thereby fast-tracking rape cases, by providing a capacity training for SGBV prosecutor by also supporting the various NGOs that are helping to monitor and supervise SGBV process and the establishment of cooperation between them and other relevant institutions among others.
Earlier, giving the overview of the ‘Stop Rape Campaign’, FAWE Founder and Past Chairperson, Dr. D. Evelyn S. Kandakai said that since 1992 when FAWE was founded, they have brought to light the plight of several girl child through education, adding that the ‘Stop Rape Camping’ is their own way of saying no to the rapists and would-be rapists.
She then called on the Liberian media to help in the fight against rape by using their various platforms, noting that it pains her so much whenever she listens to the radio and read the various newspapers to realize that not much attention is been given to rape survivors by journalists in the country.

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