By Tina S. Mehnpaine
A 13-year old girl who recently went missing in the Mount Barclay community in Paynesville has been found with lacerations on her private part indicating that she was raped.
According to the community chairman, Blama Allison, it was at 1:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 10, when he heard a voice of a female near his house crying for help. Initially he said, he was afraid to go out during that late hour of the night.
As the survivor continued crying for help, Allison said he was forced to open the door, disregarding what the consequence may be to him.
“When I came outside, I saw the little girl bleeding profusely, and when I asked her what happened, she replied that unknown men raped her,” the chairman said.
Explaining further the circumstances leading to the survivor’s encounter, Allison said this girl sells biscuits at Red-Light, the largest commercial hub in Montserrado and, after selling for the day, she entered a vehicle that took her to an unknown location where she was sexually assaulted.
According to the community chairman, the survivor could not explain in detail whether the vehicle was a commercial taxi.
According to Allison’s account as narrated to him by the yong lady, the perpetrators, who are still at large, tied her mouth with a piece of cloth so that she could not shout.
Allison added: “The moment she got through explaining briefly to me, the girl [fainted] and I thought she had died. The only good thing she did for me was to give her father’s number, and that’s how I called to let him know the condition of his daughter.”
Report from the Hope for Women Health Center, where the survivor is undergoing treatment, indicates that she underwent surgery as a result of the incident.
The girl’s father, Abraham, said his daughter had been missing for about one week and they had no idea where to find her.
“I have been checking all around for my daughter and even went to her friend’s place, where I thought she would be, but she was nowhere found. It was later that I received a call that she was lying down at Fendell junction in blood,” the father lamented.
It was difficult for Abraham that night to reach Allison who was by his (Abraham’s) daughter’s side as motorbikes and cars had stopped running. Moreover, getting out during such a late hour at night is dangerous as criminals, including armed robbers, are in complete control of most of the communities.
However, Abraham said, he was compelled to take the risk as calls continued coming to him. “As calls kept coming, I decided to go there to see. When I got at the scene, I saw my daughter lying down in blood,” Abraham added.
According to Guladia T. Nyamalon, when she took the survivor to the Hope for Women hospital, she was informed by the nurses that a surgery needed to be done on the uterus due to the large tearing of the vagina by the perpetrators.
Nyamalon, a child rights advocate operating the organization, “One Child,” was the one who took the survivor to the Hospital. Ms. Nyamalon said she was informed by the nurses that the survivor would undergo Uterus Surgery due to the lacerations she sustained in the vagina.
According to Nyamalon, the surgery, when performed, might lead to the extraction of the 13-year-old’s womb, leading to the possibility of her not being able to give birth.
Another child rights advocate, Norwu K. Harris who was one of the organizers of the campaign against rape in early September, told the Daily Observer in a telephone interview that it is disheartening to see rape still on the increase even though it has been declared a ‘national emergency’ by President George M. Weah.
Norwu said: “Prior to the declaration, we had cases every day and it is so sad that after the declaration there are still cases being reported on a daily basis.”
Norwu called on the Ministry of Gender and relevant stakeholders and civil society actors to fully implement all the different steps that are contained in the roadmap on rape and sexual gender-based violence.
The child rights advocate said there is a need for the government to establish the mobile court that was embedded in the roadmap.
Meanwhile, following three days of protest against rampant rape cases in Liberia, the government declared the menace as a “National emergency” but, since this declaration was made, no stringent measures have been put in place to deter perpetrators, and reports of cases have continued to spread.