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Deal with Rape, Gender-based Violence

First thing our believe in this country is that we do not have laws, we got plentiful of laws, that is why I am not focusing on too many bills and laws. We got plentiful of laws, and the laws that we have in this country are so plentiful, but we are not implementing them, and because our lack of will and courage to implement the existing laws, it makes it appear as though we are either weak or non-existent. That is why you hear some people say let us kill rapists for instance, because we are not prosecuting people.

Firstly, the executive, and the legislature for 15 years, from Madam Sirleaf to today. What my colleague Thomas Fallah said, they have had no courage to implement or talk about the statutory rape law. Thomas Fallah told you a representative from Grand Gedeh County was accused of tempering with a 13-year-old child.

The existing laws on statutory rape is once you are less than eighteen even if you agree for someone to have sex with you, it is rape. Firstly what we need to do is, if you have these children bearing children, anybody below 17 goes to the hospital, if a seventeen years old child pregnant and she goes to the hospital for delivery, find the father of the pregnancy, grab him for statutory rape because that child is below eighteen, and the 13 year old child was said to have given birth by a law makers allegedly, now they didn’t go to investigate him, so that matter is still left untouched.

The children, who are under 18 in this country, should be protected under the law. And the way to settle this gender-based violence is simple. Let the law be blind, when the law starts to see it can be selective, it can be democratic. And the law should be about protecting the blind and not who breaks the law.

Local Voices Liberia is a network of dedicated Liberian journalists based in the 15 counties working to lift the development concerns and progress of rural communities.

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