The Chairperson of the Independent National Commission on Human Rights, (INCHR), Cllr. Gladys Johnson, has called on the Government of Liberia and its partners to take drastic action against rapists so that they would have no rest.
Cllr. Johnson made the statement recently at programs marking the public findings of the ‘DIALOGUE’ forum on the ongoing Constitution Review exercise, organized by the Liberia Media for Democratic Initiative (LMDI) at the S. T. Nagbe United Methodist Church in Monrovia.
“The issue of rape seriously disturbs me,” Chairman Johnson declared. “People are raping children and the pain is too much for them.”
Cllr. Johnson narrated a sad story she witnessed in which she said justice needs to be done.
“Two men raped an 8 year old girl and the child is now suffering from a damaged bladder. The frustrating thing is that up to now, those rapists have not been arrested.”
In order to give no rest to rapists in Liberia, there must be serious action to declare war on rapists who are destroying the future of children, she insisted.
She described rape as a war that is being waged against children and warned that Liberia needs to fight it in order to end such a horrible crime against children.
Cllr. Johnson recounted that in earlier times, prominent women participated in anti-rape campaigns, which drew the attention of the international community.
The Human Rights Chairperson noted that the actual cause of the increase in rape cases is due to the government’s failure to prosecute rapists and as a result they are released from prison.
“It saddens me that I, Cllr. Johnson, cannot give justice to rapists who kill innocent children. My only hope is to prosecute rapists for destroying the lives of children so that they don’t have rest,” Cllr. Johnson repeated.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Madam Julia Duncan Cassell, reported a total of 554 rape cases in the country in 2014. Her report shows that Montserrado County accounted for 428 cases, while the rest of the 14 counties accounted for 126 cases.
Minister Cassell also revealed that 512 of the cases were perpetrated against children between the ages 0-17 years, while 42 were against persons over 18 years.
According to her, 80 percent of rape survivors did not receive medical treatment from July to September, due to the Ebola Virus Disease epidemic while 20 percent were cared for, mostly in Montserrado County.