Wednesday, June 19, 2013 03:44
Babies Dominate Rape Cases In Liberia
Rape continues to be on the increase with babies rated the worst victims, but in Grand Cape Mount County where the highest number of rape cases especially of children are reported is said to have no health package for rape victims.
Making the disclosure at a cultural extravaganza on child rape organized by UNMIL's traditional communicators over the weekend, the Program Advisor of the government and the United Nations Gender Based Violence Joint Program, Madhumita Sarkar urged residents to protest and bring the situation to the attention of government.
Madam Sarkar also revealed that government has an endowment fund established under the Ministry of Gender and Development where victims of sexual and gender based violence especially rape can seek treatment.
She dispelled the argument that if babies are raped the perpetrators would have power or be cured if infected with HIV and AIDS. Madam Sarkar said out of the 60 percent of the rape victims who are children, 30 percent are babies between the ages of zero to five years.
She said grown-ups when forced into sexual relationships are able to resist and say “My body is mine” but the babies are unable to speak therefore it is the adults who are to make the decision to stop raping the babies adding, “This should be your promise.”
“There is no palava hut business in solving rape problems therefore do not solve it the traditional way. Go to court; go to the law and take treatment within 72 hours,” Madam Sarkar said. Traditional communicators comprising of the Barawala International, Crusaders for Peace, Traditional Peace Theatre, Musician Union of Liberia launched a nationwide campaign to answer to some of the questions concerning why people rape using participatory methods.
The traditional communicators used the program to gown two of UNMIL's officials who according to them have played a robust role in promoting Liberia's culture and using the traditional communicators in spreading messages of peace in the country.
One of the honorees, UNMIL's Chief of Public Information Office, Isabelle Abric, urged Liberians to unite in the fight to stop babies from being raped noting that much awareness has been done on the issue of rape but the country is still struggling on the prevalence of the rape of babies.
She said it is not for victims to feel ashamed when raped instead it should be the perpetrators because rape is a crime unlike HIV and ADIS which is a disease. Madam Abric encouraged victims to keep talking about their situations because that is the best therapy.
The Chief of PIO said the best approach to reaching out to the people is through the custom and traditions of every community. While Cultural Ambassador Julie Endee said poverty may be in Liberia but it is not in Liberians therefore it is an unacceptable thing to rape a person.