Source: New Dawn
President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has launched an anti-rape campaign in Monrovia under the theme, Stand Up Against Rape. Addressing the ceremony at the Ministry of Gender and Development on Wednesday, President Sirleaf noted that most rape victims in Liberia are children from three months to 14 years, including both girls and boys.
The President wept as she lit a candle in memory of GBV survivors and those children, who lost their lives as a result of being raped. She said despite the enactment of the rape law, rape and sexual violence continues to rise.
Pres. Sirleaf recalled that from 2012 to present, 24,093 rape cases have been reported in the country with Montserrado County recording the highest statistics. Sinoe County recorded the lowest number of cases seven, and President Sirleaf commended the people of Sinoe for upholding the rape law.
Speaking also at the launch, Liberia's Justice Minister Christiana Tah, said children are the most victimized, lamenting that "If we lose our children from rape today, we are losing the future."
The Justice Minister called on the police to treat rape cases with serious attention by conducting preliminary promptly and forwarding suspects to court for prosecution.
Gender and Development Minister Madam Julia Duncan Cassell, said the campaign will be taken to the 15 counties of Liberia, including villages, towns in collaboration with UNDP, UNICEF, UNMIL, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and her own ministry to fight rape.
Minister Cassell called on men to stop raping women and children, saying "We will tell the teachers, fathers, and brothers to protect our children in the villages."