The 2018 first quarter statistics of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) shows about 462 Gender-Based Violence (GBV) cases were reported across the country.
Making the disclosure Friday during the start of the 16-Day of Activism at the ministry, Gender Minister Williametta Saydee-Tarr, noted that out of the 462 cases reported, 59 percent occurred in Montserrado County, where the nation’s capital city is located.
She added that an additional 10 percent also occurred in Bong, while Grand Gedeh, Sinoe and Margibi counties recorded seven, six and five percent respectively.
“Sadly, rape accounts for 61 percent of the abuses, and increased significantly by five percent as compared to 2017 first quarter report,” Min. Tarr explained.
According to her, the report indicated that women and girls constitute 92.4 percent, which means that women and girls are the most vulnerable people to rape with different forms of gender-based violence.
Of that figure, the Gender Minister pointed out, adolescence girls aged 10-19 years, 278 or 60 percent were affected, hence girls under 18 years accounted for 72.7 percent, while 7.6 percent of the same violence was perpetrated against boys.
She said disturbingly, 2017 GBV report revealed a total of 1,685 cases with 69.2 being sexual violence, of which 59.8 percent were females who were less than 18 years.
Minister Tarr emphasized that during the 2017 reporting period, females alone accounted for 97.3 percent of the survivors, adding that “this clearly demonstrates how women and girls mostly suffered the effect of GBV.”
She observed that violence and abuse in the world of work is nothing new, and that is why the ministry has organized new forms to urgently rally immediate actions to abolish such diabolical act.
Moreover, because of the violence at the work place, Min. Tarr stated that insecure employment, short-term contracts and numerous layers of sub-contractors are worrying in the way they disproportionally affect women.
She stressed that the risk of abuse increases when women lose power and become dependent on managers, supervisors and other men in superior positions.
Minister Tarr then encouraged society to acknowledge that violence against women and children is not a government or criminal justice system problem, but a societal problem, stating that to view it as such results in all efforts failing to eradicate this scourge in the communities.
She advised that the solution of GBV in Liberia lies with all citizens.