By: Abraham Kollie (Correspondent, Margibi County)
As rape and other sexual violence abuses against women and girls continue to escalate in Liberia, the Program Manager for the Partnership for Sustainable Development, Mr. Thomas Teah, is called for the introduction of a law seeking death penalty for rapists in the country.
Teah calls is in reaction to recent arrest in Gbarpolu County, where 15-year old Ballah Varmah allegedly raping a 3-year-old child in the County and split her private part with a razor blade.
Mr. Teah maintained that though Liberia’s international partners would not be in favor of a death penalty for rapists, serious actions must be taken to help end the danger against women and girls in Liberia.
He made these statements at a three-day intensive training on awareness campaign against Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), and Campaign to Accelerate Women Rights in Liberia particularly rape, against women and girls in the country.
The campaign which started on Monday August 17 ended on Wednesday August 19, 2020 in Kakata Margibi County with support from the Women Peace & Humanitarian Form (WPHF).
Speaking further, Teah noted that the Campaign is an 18 months project targeting three counties including Margibi, Grand Bassa, and Gbarpolu Counties with different women organizations in those counties.
“The international community has not actually support this decision, but with the statistics we have in our possession on the issue of SGBV, there is the need that we start to look whether we can re-examine the issue of death penalty for rapists because this is getting serious” Teah added.
Meanwhile, the head of program at the Partnership for Sustainable Development has called for the full participation of community leaders in the awareness campaign against SGBV in Liberia.
He explained that town chiefs, commissioners, mayors, as well as parents and teachers must take ownership of the fight against rape and sexual exploitation and molestation against women and girls.
He called for sufficient support to be provided to females to encourage them to take up legal profession in a bid to fast track rape cases at the court.