BY Jefferson D. Tweh
The Ministry of Gender and Development has unanimously demonstrated its commitment to providing anti-rape awareness to all public schools and to enlighten the minds of students on Gender Based Violence (GBV) against women in the country and also encourage them to be part of the awareness process.
National Program Coordinator, Government of Liberia and United Nations Joint Program on Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Liberia, Mr. Timothy Paulus, disclosed that most of the victims of rape are children in school and the Ministry of Gender and Development has decided to take anti-rape awareness to public schools.
He said this was necessary because some students are not informed on some these issues like rape, gender based violence against women and MOGD decided to launch the anti-rape awareness on Newport High School campus to help educate the students about rape issues.
According to Mr. Paulus, anti-rape awareness launching will also take place at Tubman High School, Boatswain Junior and Elementary School, D. Tweh Memorial High School, and G.W. Gibson High School to enlighten the minds of young people to protect themselves and consider rape issues in the country seriously.
Mr. Paulus said the anti-rape awareness will also be taken to public schools in the fifteen counties because rape issues are escalating and something must be done to sensitize the students’ populace to ensure that they are not in the wrong place.
Mr. Paulus explained further that the anti-rape awareness is not only limited to public schools but as Government Ministry, there has been easy collaboration with the public schools but with the private schools, it takes lots of engagements to have such a program; however, the Ministry of Gender and Development will engage private schools too.
He observed that rape is a crime and when a child is raped, the case should be reported to the Liberia National Police (LNP) and it should not be settled the family way because rape is worst than armed robbery and that rape is a major issue because it destroys the future of children and even adults.
Research Officer, at Gender Based Violence (GBV) Unit at the Ministry of Gender and Development Madam Rubylene J. Brown said statistics conducted this year by MGOD revealed that 815 children were raped.
Madam Brown said the anti-rape awareness will educate students on rape issues because many children have fallen victims.