UN Women Country Representative, Comfort Lamptey, has urged the Liberia National Police (LNP) to recommit to ending sexual and Gender Based Violence against women and girls.
Speaking at the lighting of the LNP Headquarters in Monrovia as part of the 16 Days of Activism activities to end violence against women and girls, Lampley said though the police has made some effort in preventing and ending violence against women and girls in Liberia, more needs to be done.
Quoting a statistic from the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, she said a total of 1,975 cases of gender based violence were reported in 2022. 66.4% accounted for rape, gang rape, and sodomy, and 33.6% accounted for other forms of GBV.
Lamptey further quoted that 65% of the cases involved female survivors under 18 years old. Between January and August 2023, a total of 2,109 GBV cases were reported, with 68.5% or 1,446 cases accounting for rape, gang rape, and sodomy affecting 68% or 1,440 survivors under the age of 18 years.
“These statistics show that a lot still needs to be done to combat gender based violence and there is need to invest to prevent violence against women and girls,” she urged.
“We hope that today’s ceremony will serve as a call to action and that we can see a recommitment by the Liberian National Police to addressing gender based violence to respond to it and to also championing efforts to prevent violence against women and girls in this country,” she said.
According to her, the police are critical stakeholders in preventing violence against women and girls because they are the first responders to the crimes.
“I think this is a very critical place to be because the Liberia National Police are critical stakeholders in the fight to prevent gender based violence,” she added. “The police are normally the first line of response to these crimes, and the police also take gender based violence crimes seriously and ensure that these crimes go through the course of the law for prosecution.”
In commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism, the UN Women and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, LNP, the Liberia Immigration Service and partners, are creating awareness on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls in Liberia.
The 16 Days of Activism is a global effort to continuously raise awareness and mobilize support to end such atrocities against women and girls.
This year’s global theme is “Invest to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls,” while the National Theme is “Empower Women, Secure Our Nation: Invest Locally to Prevent Violence against Women and Girls”.
“The pertinence of this year’s theme for the 16 Days of Activism campaign cannot be overstated as it is critical in achieving the goal of wiping out the scourge of GBV,” said Lamptey.
Deputy Gender Minister Alice Johnson-Howard thanked UN Women and other partners for their continuous efforts and support to the fight against gender based violence. She hailed the police and encouraged them to be more vigilant in helping women and girls.