Liberia: AFELL, Partners Conduct GBV Prevention, Response Awareness

The Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL) in partnership with the Community Health Care Initiative (CHI), Liberia Association of Psychosocial Services (LAPS) with financial support from the Danish Institute Against Torture (DIGNITY) has conducted a one-day awareness and sensitization session on the prevention and response to Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Liberia. 

During the awareness and sensitization session, AFELL lawyers, Cllr. Josephine Grose, Cllr. Cora Hare Konuwa, Cllr. Evelyn Lah Gongloe, and Cllr. Asatu Bah Kenneth facilitated on the topics 1) Legal implication – Gender Base Violence 2) Introduction to the Liberian Criminal Justice System, 3) Accessing the Liberian Court System, and 4) The Responsibility of Law Enforcement Personnel in Relation to the Court, respectively. 

In a statement at the awareness and sensitization workshop, the President, Atty. Philomena T. Williams, stressed the types of violence and their effect on survivors. She described Physical violence as rape and assault, among others – psychological violence- men controlling their women as to who they can see, who should be their friends, and where they can go; and Economic Violence husbands making their wives financially dependent on them.  “Our record shows that husbands have stopped their wives from working, and/or engaging in business.”

The President of AFELL further lamented that another despicable example of psychological violence against children is the call for kush. “We want kush”. It’s coercion, persuasion, and forcing our children to do drugs. It is like putting a gun to the head of your child. AFELL condemns the call for kush, a type of psychological violence against our children. 

Atty. Williams informed the participants that AFELL has a lawyer seconded to District #16 to provide legal services. She urged the community residents to make maximum use of the lawyer and the court at no cost. 

She said, “With AFELL’s intervention, you can be assured of access to justice for the people of district #16. We are making a clarion call to put aside our political allegiance and prevent all forms of violence, especially during this election period.”