Source: The New Dawn

The United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA Liberia Representative has called for “innovative ways of preventing violence against women and girls” in the country.

Ms. Ratidzai Ndhlovu said there would be no need for one-stop centers to cater for the needs of rape survivors if as she puts it, “sanity” is brought into the minds of men, who go around, raping women and girls.

The UNFPA Liberia Representative spoke here Tuesday when the Government of Liberia and the UN joint Programme on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) launched the seventh One-Stop Center for rape survivors at the Hope for Women Center on AB Tolbert Road, Paynesville.

“This privately owned hospital dedicated space and resources for the construction of this one-stop-center where survivors of sexual and gender based violence will get free services including surgery to repair badly damaged survivors.

This private hospital has set the pace, and demonstrated how the private sector can work in collaboration with the Government to provide health services to the most disadvantaged members of our population. This is a lesson for all those in the private sector, that running private hospitals and health centers is not just about making money, but it’s about having a passion to provide services to the  communities in which you work, having a passion that goes beyond making money”, she emphasized.

The other centers include the Star of the Sea in West Point, the James Davies Memorial Hospital (JDJ) in Nee-Zoe community, the Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town, Duport Road Clinic, C.B. Dumbar Hospital in Bong County and Tubamburg Hospital in Bomi County, respectively.

The One-Stop Center has been in partnership with the Government through the Public Health divisions of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare at Redemption, JDJ, C.B. Dumbar and Tubamburg hospitals. The Hope for Women Center is the fourth partnership with the One-Stop Center, and is the first private institution.

Speaking at the launch, the UNFPA Representative Ms Ratidzai Ndlovu, emphasized that all services for the Sexual Gender Base Violence are absolutely free. She also mentioned that the services are integrated within the general provision of Sexual and Reproductive Health services for women and girls.

Ms Ndhlovu said even as these partners work hard to protect and provide services to survivors of SGBV, there is a need to find innovative ways of preventing violence against women and girls so that one day, there will be no need for one stop centers after sanity has be brought into the minds of men, who go around raping women and girls.

She than thanked the ministry of Health and WIPNET for supervising the work that has gone into making the centre a reality, while commending the Ministry of Gender and Development for providing oversall coordination of the GOL/UN joint programmeand also conceptualizing the indea of One Sto Centres under the National Plan of Action for Gender Base Violence in Liberia.

The Executive Director of THINK, Ms. Rosana Schaak, said the idea of bringing the One-Stop Center to Liberia came about when she and her delegation were in the United States and also borrowed the idea from South Africa how to respond to Gender Base Violence issues.

In 2013, she also sent a delegation to Rwanda to see how that country’s One-Stop campaign works, noting that law enforcement has to be strengthened in order to persecute perpetrators.

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