The United Nations Women and 12 Men non-governmental organizations have begun a collaborative campaign to tackle the growing wave of rape and other forms of violence against women.
The two organizations last week engaged over 50 community dwellers in a one-day dialogue in the Moulton Corner Community in Brewerville outside Monrovia.
This community mourned the recent death of a 13-year old girl who was allegedly raped to death by a man in his 50s.
The dialogue, according to Mr. Arkie J. Tarr, lead facilitator of 12 Men, was intended to help community members to discuss and find ways to curb the gruesome act perpetrated against women, mainly children.
Mr. Tarr revealed that the goal of the dialogue was to listen to community dwellers on possible causes of rape and how to mitigate the atrocity against females.
“Today we understood that rape can be committed based on ritualistic purpose, we understood that poverty is a major cause of rape. We understood that forced child marriage is a form of rape, and we also learned from the community dwellers that indecent dress code is also a factor of rape. The lack of parental care is also part of the problem,” Mr. Tarr explained.
He further revealed that 12 Men will shortly focus its attention in Bong, Grand Bassa and Margibi Counties to support similar dialogues.
He continued, “Right now, the group is targeting areas in which the atrocity is mostly committed, because community dwellers in those areas are concerned.”
Mr. Tarr indicated that, “At the just ended awareness-raising program, held at the S. T. Nagbe United Methodist Church in Monrovia, most panelists called for strong community partnership and engagement in combating rape and other forms of violence against women.”
At the conclusion of the dialogue, community members in a focus group discussion decided on several recommendations, including empowering women, crafting drastic laws against perpetrators, engaging parents in self-employment initiatives to help alleviate poverty, including the execution of educational activities on modest dress codes for students, especially females.
Academic institutions and community leaders were encouraged to promote proper dress codes, especially for girls and young women.
Regular engagement in dialogue to increase awareness was also encouraged.
Speaking earlier, Zone 6 Police Superintendent, Blama Yancy, commended UN Women for the interaction and pledged his support in addressing violence against women.
Supt. Yancy indicated that such a gathering creates a platform for community members to formulate ways to curtail rape and other crimes.
He used the forum to admonish community dwellers not to engage in mob justice but should rather turn alleged perpetrators of crimes over to the law enforcement officers for proper redress.