The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Gender, Children Social Protection (MGCSP) has begun the construction and rehabilitation of safe homes that will host survivors of rape, following a recent call by anti-rape protesters some weeks back.
Gender Minister Willamette Saydee-Tarr, presenting the Anti-Rape Road Map on SGBV document on Tuesday, September 8, 2020, for revision and consideration by participants at the conference, disclosed that the MGCSP, in collaboration with the Ministries of Health, Finance, partners, and international donors, have begun rehabilitation of three of the safe homes with additional three reconditioned to accommodate survivors.
Minister Saydee-Tarr said the process will be completed and accessible to survivors by December this year, hoping to construct the same in all fifteen counties as of June 2021 to resolve the issue of stigmatization of survivors.
The issue of safe homes for survivors has been a serious challenge for the Government and people of Liberia since, in most cases, survivors are taken back into communities where they were violated.
Minister Saydee-Tarr unveiled that they have begun to construct four additional safe homes in the country. The idea, she said, is to have adequate safe homes in all fifteen counties to care for women, girls and children who have been abused.
“We have safe homes that are run by the government and safe homes that are run by our CSO partners. We want to be able, by 2021, to have two safe homes in Montserrado, Grand Gedeh, and Grand Kru counties.”
The Minister of Gender said when the safe homes are constructed, it will incorporate women, girls and boys. Children who have gone through such horrible acts will no longer be released to the public or communities where they were abused, but rather be taken to the safe homes for counseling and other care.
The Anti-Rape Road Map on SGBV promises to be an advantage and beneficiary to survivors as it focuses on three major areas with support and timeline; issues of health, justice, and safe homes were these individuals can be attended to from the time of the incident to its conclusion.
The conference, where Minister Saydee-Tarr made the disclosure, is also intended to identify issues that are not in the anti-rape road map document.
First Lady Clar M. Weah has also condemned the alarming issue of rape in the country.
Madam Weah stressed the need to place more concentration on the precaution and prevention of SGBV rather than punishment.
She called for a robust awareness in the fight against rape and SGBV, adding that “The construction of safe homes and DNA machines are all important, but raising awareness on rape and SGBV related issues is much more important in the fight against this crisis.”