The Disabled Teen the 16 Days of Activism Missed

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Several months ago, our reporter walked in on a very disturbing scene of a disabled teen being manhandled and sexually assaulted by a psychotic man – a man everyone in the community is afraid of because of his ‘out of control’ nature.

Unfortunately, he preyed on a vulnerable girl who has been living near the seaside in New Kru Town since her family left her alone to wander about. Since then, she has been unable to find her way back to a place her memory cannot recall.

Abandoned by relatives because of the many issues that accompany her disability, including the inability to communicate, somewhere in-between her stay at the seaside, she was picked up by her abuser.

“This man finds excitement in beating her to a pulp and biting every part of her body whenever he can. There are so many bite marks on her body, hands and face, and burn marks from the zogos that he allows to sleep with her for small money,” stated Ma Bee, a community dweller.

The first day the two were seen together, the man forcefully tried to have intercourse with the teen behind a zinc house in Momboe Town East. After he was caught and manhandled by community dwellers, he ran for a bucket of water and tried to shower the girl.

Blood ran down her hand from him biting her, and her eye began to swell from his hard punches to her face for crying. The teen was badly injured.

Our reporter had to escort the teen to a nearby bathroom as feces streamed down her leg from the fright that normally comes whenever this man handles her.

“Just leave them, both of them are not sound,” community dwellers said when our reporter tried to help.

The girl was taken to a local pharmacy where it was discovered that she was pregnant. The following day the Ministry of Gender and Development was alerted by this paper.

“Unfortunately, due to her disability, it will be hard to place her anywhere. Is there any where you can keep her until she gives birth?” asked one of the social workers after it was revealed that the teen may be with child.

Five months later and the situation is worse. Unable to keep the teen because of the many challenges associated with finding a caretaker, medication for her broken and sprained body courtesy of her attacker, and getting the teen a sleeping place, she was back in the streets again.

“The Gender Ministry had no place or help for her. Therefore, we found a temporary place for her to sleep, which was an abandoned house in Momboe Town. Unfortunately, the mentally disabled man came back overnight while everyone slept and stole the girl.”

Two weeks ago, as the Gender Ministry was launching the 16 Days of Activism campaign, the teen and her attacker were walking the streets of Duala and Point Four; a sight so pathetic that every one cringes whenever they see the badly beaten, bandaged and cut up teen. Her pregnancy is showing as well, but what’s alarming is the fact that she has been beaten up so much, her physical appearance is repulsive.

“The man will kill her O, and that’s the time we will hold Gender Ministry since they say they don’t have a place to put her. They have left her to die,” stated an elder living in Momboe Town West.

While this girl’s story is heart wrenching and needs as much exposure as possible, the Ministry of Gender has since launched its 16 Days of Activism. In response, people who have come across the teen have asked why the Liberian Government has not come in to save her.

This time around community dwellers have promised to step in and find help themselves when the pregnant teen is spotted.

“It is very urgent that everyone keeps an eye out for these two and if they are spotted, notify the nearest police station, for this teen needs your help,” Ma Bee added.

Meanwhile, the teen is hearing impaired and unable to communicate and therefore will not understand a helping gesture.

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