GBARNGA, Sept. 16 (LINA) – Siatta Scott-Johnson, president of the Female Journalists Association of Liberia (FEJAL), is recommending that the Ministry of Justice brings criminal charges against any individual or persons anywhere in the country linked to attempts to compromise or conceal a rape case.
Rape and other sexual, gender-based violence cases, in parts of the Liberia, can be unreported due to settlement between the alleged perpetrator or his family and the family of the victim, an impunity pathway the civil society has been fighting to discourage for years now.
Mrs. Johnson told the Liberia News Agency (LINA) in Gbarnga, Bong County that there must be a strong deterrent mechanism to end acts that could stop rape cases from reaching the police or courts where alleged doers of the crime would face state prosecutors.
Anyone found guilty of having compromised a rape case or attempted to have done so should face similar jail sentence as the main criminal, she indicated.
« People should stop blaming the issue of rape on dress code because even children below three are being raped by elderly people, unfortunately. » Johnson pointed out.
As outlined in the recently adopted anti-Rape and SGBV national roadmap, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is expected to implement major key steps to stop, if not end, the scourge.
This would follow the two-day conference on the subject, attended by a wide range of stakeholders from the government to civil society and traditional chiefs.
In recent months, the cases or reports of incidents of rape sparked in communities around the country, prompting hundreds of citizens in the capital, Monrovia, to take to the streets in protest, in a bid to pressure the Government to act fast on curbing the horrific act.