By Hannah N. Geterminah and Tina S. Mehnpaine
A 26-year old rape survivor joining hundreds of anti-rape protesters in Monrovia has called on families and the public in general not to compromise rape cases. As a survivor, she has observed that families and community members often compromise rape cases; a situation that is believed to be contributing to the rampant cases of rape.
The survivor disclosed that she had experienced rape twice by family members (two uncles) and was unable to take the case through the court because close relatives influenced the process for home settlement.
According to her, at age 11 and later, at age 13, her two uncles sexually abused her when she was left at home.
“I am here today because I know what it means to be raped. I was raped twice by my uncles. It is a horrible situation to see someone to take advantage of you because of strength, height, and status; it’s the saddest thing that someone would go through,” She said.
The survivor refused to name her abusers and stated that she has lived with the trauma even in her marital life.
“I am married but I still live with this guilt which makes me sad each time I think about it,” the survivor expressed in tears.
Emerline S. Wureh, a Catholic sister of the congregation of Cape Palmas, Maryland County, said: “I have come today to give my support because I feel the pains of those that are victimized by rape, especially the 3-year-old baby that was raped recently in Gbarpolu County.”
Ms. Wureh said rape is on the increase and she is in solidarity with children and women who are suffering today, adding that they, Catholic sisters, are of no exception.
“We are crying out loud to our government to enforce those laws that we have in the country so that rape can stop,” she added.
“So it is my hope and prayer that at the end of our peaceful assembly, our voices will be heard and there will be laws to curtail rape in this country.”
Othello Kelly, Program Officer for Action-Oriented Youth, said: “This is a national call and should be declared as a ‘national emergency. I have come to join other protesters so that our government can reinforce rape law and consider it a non-bailable offense.”
He encouraged men to join the march and not exclude themselves, because they have girl children and sisters who can face the same situation other women and girls are facing.
The protesters were seen holding the pictures of other young girls who have lost their lives as the result of rape, reiterating that the weak justice system has to be strengthened to give justice to rape victims.