Ten reportedly died of rape in nine months

-Symbolic coffins displayed in anti-gender violence parade

By: Alfred Gezaye  | December 4, 2013

Young protesters against rape

Photo Caption: Young females and males carrying symbolic coffins of 10 raped victims during a parade.

Monrovia:- Children in Monrovia yesterday paraded symbolic coffins of 10 children who died within nine months as a result of rape.

The children who paraded the symbolic coffins sought to draw the attention of the public on the dangers of rape. The parade was part of activities marking the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence (GBV).

Speaking to journalists, the Executive Director of the Women NOGs Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL) said the 10 rape victims ages ranged from 1 to 15 years.

Madam Marpue Speare said some of the children were gang raped. Others were raped and murdered by their perpetrators while some were raped and thrown into pit latrines. She added that other victims were raped by family members and unidentified perpetrators.

The victims include Ma Gono of Nimba County, two years old; Esther Paye of Nimba County, age three; Asatu Kroma of Bong County, four years old; Massa Johnny of Montserrado County, age eight; and Korpu Kollie of Grand Gedeh County, age fourteen.

Others were Evelyn Sackie of Margibi County, nine years old; Qucbo Paygai of Grand Bassa County, age 12; Nyonnoh Dardoh Tweh of Sinoe County, age 13; Fatu Talawally of Montserrado County, age 13; and Krubo Aye Gayflor of Lofa County, age thirteen.

Making remarks at the launch of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence at the ATS in Monrovia on December 2, 2013 WONGOSOL's Executive Director said it is their hope that parents, school authorities, women and youth organizations would stand as first line of defense for the children in providing security.

Madam Speare said she wants the government of Liberia, parents and the local communities to act accordingly in making sure that women, children as well as males are protected under the laws of Liberia.

She noted that their campaign was not only for Monrovia but they are also intending to visit the rural parts of the country to intensify the campaign against rape.

According to Madam Speare, statistics for 2013 shows that over 1,300 rape cases were reported, noting that most of the perpetrators were walking around freely in the streets.

Madam Speare blamed some of the impunity on compromising, parents not following up on cases, insecurity of victims or case pile up on the docket either because the judge is gone for break and has to return before the case can be resumed or perpetrators are not appearing.

“Today we want say that we are tired of our children dying; we are tired of seeing our children going down the drain before our very eyes and perpetrators going with impunity.”

She went on to say that their hearts were bleeding as mothers, parents and want to ensure that perpetrators come to justice.

Madam Speare said they stand with the government and all men in taking up this campaign and said to sustain it, they will have to go to the rural communities where people will get to understand and know how to go about reporting cases of rape.

WONGOSOL Executive Director extended thanks to the men for taking the lead in the campaign this year and urged every Liberian to take the fight against rape serious because according to her, any of their relatives could be raped as it is been done to the dead victims whose caskets were displayed in the streets yesterday in Monrovia.

The campaign against rape started on November 25, 2013 as several women representing the 15 counties of Liberia staged a sit-in-action at various Ministries and agencies responsible to prosecute rape cases in the country.

The national theme of this year 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence is “Men as agents of change in ending violence against women and girls.”