BY: Shallon S. Gonlor/CORRESPONDENT
Contact: +231881471044/(WhatsApp) +231778191516
NIMBA COUNTY- A 41-year-old man identified as Alex Tokpah has been arrested and forwarded to the Sexual Offenses Court of the 8th Judicial Circuit in Sanniquellie, Nimba County for allegedly raping 11&15-year-old girls in Bahn City.
Reports reveal that, Suspect Tokpah, a traditional herbalist committed the alleged act while trying to carry out some traditional herbs in order justify public claims against those victims who have early been accused of witchcraft practices.
Concomitantly- Tappita City, Lower Nimba County’s detachment of the Liberia National Police is investigating a 55-year-old Stipendiary Magistrate of Zuolay Magisterial Court, Wuo Queglay for allegedly rapping a 12-year-old girl in Zuolay Town, Nimba County.
Reports say Magistrate Queglay allegedly committed the act on early Friday, October 27, 2023.
The allegation seems to be gaining strength as it has been revealed by medical reports that the survivor was tempered with. Due to complications from the unorthodox act, she is currently undergoing medical attention at a local hospital in the county.
Zuolay Town, the locality where the situation occurred is situated in Tappita Electoral District#6, Lower Nimba County.
Since Rape was declared a National Emergency, there’s seems to be a rise in the number of cases reported across the country, as there have been additional budgetary allotment to tackle Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) cases.
WomenVoices Newspaper has gathered that, currently about Twenty puls pre-trial detainees at the Sanniquellie Central Prison from 2021 to 2023, charged and indicted for sexual related offenses.
An independent investigation conducted so far have it that, the Sexual Offenses Court similarly recorded about twenty plus pre-trial detainees at the Sanniquellie Central Prison facility who allegedly committed sexual related crimes ranging from Rape, Statutory Rape, Gang Rape, Involuntary Sodomy among others upon the 2023 August Term formal opening.
It furthers that, at the close of the 2023 August Term, the number of pre-trial detainees dropped to nineteen based on nolle prosequi, admission to bail, dismissal, acquittal, conviction among others in line with the Criminal Procedure Law of Liberia.
Violence against women and children is understood as a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination that result in sexual and domestic violence against women and children in Liberia.
Sexual and domestic violence is frequent, and courts in Liberia are ill-equipped to handle these cases and can’t respond when these women and children desperately need protection.
The World Health Organization (WHO) stands against violence against children and women, especially intimate partner violence and sexual violence is a major public health problem and a violation of women’s human rights.
The March 9, 2021 an estimates published by the WHO indicate that globally about 30% of women worldwide have been subjected to either physical or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.
Notebly, violence can negatively affect women’s physical, mental, sexual, and reproductive health, and may increase the risk of acquiring HIV in some settings.
In Liberia, over a quarter of women aged15-49 years who have been in a relationship have been subjected to physical or sexual violence by their intimate partner.
INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE:
Intimate partner violence refers to behaviour by an intimate partner or ex-partner that causes physical, sexual or psychological harm, including physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviours.
Sexual violence is “any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, or other act directed against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting. It includes rape, defined as the physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration of the vulva or anus with a penis, other body part or object, attempted rape, unwanted sexual touching and other non-contact forms”.