Why do we have an increase of rape cases in Liberia?

Is it because the laws are weak to deal with perpetrators? Are the courts overwhelmed with cases? Why do we have rape cases almost everyday?

Astonishingly and discouragingly, Rapist have taken on a  rather bizarre trend and that is, going for babies, even those below the age of three. It is or getting nasty! Now, this is where parents get overly concerned and are even scared to send their kids to school or on errands in the community, because somewhere you got someone waiting to prey on the child or teenager.

Rape laws are very harsh, but despite the severity  and harshness of the punishment that comes with rape, cases are on the rise. Why?

Is it because of lack of public awareness on this issue? Probably there is not enough deterrence to send signals to would be perpetrators.

Resolution 1325 of the United Nations General Assembly highlights issues of women and girls and as a consequence of that resolution, countries were mandated to take steps in that direction and to ensure that women and girls are protected and get justice.

Criminal Court E was established as a result of that resolution and  addresses these issues

Including Rape.

If you read the rape law you want to surmise that it was( probably written by women and they were very angry)  stand to be corrected, yet still the number of   rape Incidents in the country continue to rise, what can we do about this menace, IT SEEMS TO BE OUT OF CONTROL!

Should we go into the minds of these criminals and study them,maybe psychologists and psychiatrists will have to be summoned to get to the bottom of this crime that continues to inflict trauma and other psychological effects on victims of Rape and their families.

I listened to a female police officer who was raped by her Senior in his Office, I am sure there are laws to deal with such a perpetrator. What is most devastating is that this happened in a law enforcement Office, those who are responsible to hear such issues document same and send the would- be criminal to court ,it is like causing a reckless accident with your car right in front of the Police Station where all those responsible to punish the person are seated.

Maybe we have not taken the crime seriously, maybe we are joking with it, how will you feel as a husband if your wife comes home and tells you that she has been raped by her boss or an insane or crazy person in the street.

That family has totally been destroyed.

What if these criminals turn their deadly weapon against children of police officers, lawyers ,Judges and government officials we cannot wait for this crime to reach that far before we get serious are we going to wait to reach to that level? I come against such and pray against it. Nobody wants this to happen to their family, so when it happens to a family member it should be condemned and  followed by the application of the relevant laws.

There must be a judicial conference on rape to discuss the prevailing circumstances in our society, it has become an issue of morality on the part of all stakeholders, it is about your children, the dignity of the female and the trauma that comes with this crime.

Rape as a crime must be contained, we must examine the laws again and fast track cases.

This crime is breaking families apart causing untold suffering and pain to victims, their love ones and their families.

How many of us have given a minute of thought if it were you, that your two year old daughter was raped by a 32 year old man. What will you do, if the law cannot come to your rescue, who will?

The Rule of law is very fundamental to any Democratic society, we cannot continue to live like in a State of nature, where might makes right and the Lion is the King of the jungle. Liberia has a good legal system, Liberian jurisprudence is one of the best, but enforcement must be looked at again.The law should apply to everyone no matter who is involved.

Judging from our Liberian experience and how many rape cases are emerging on a daily basis, even if there’s a law prescribing Capital Punishment or death penalty for perpetrators of Rape, there will still be rape because there is lack of awareness, we need to invest in messages against rape, nothing is wrong with the law, something is wrong with the enforcement of the law, and something is wrong with awareness, something is wrong definitely that is a fact.

Finally,the judiciary will have to send a strong signal to would- be rapists on this issue.

A total package of anti rape messages must be designed for schools,churches,mosques,market places, government offices etc. and where to find remedy.

By Atty.George K. Saah

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