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The Liberian police inspector working to end sexual and gender-based violence — Global Issues


“I handle cases involving women and children in Nimba County. The most common cases I deal with here are rape, extended non-support (no alimony) and violence. Rape is the most commonly reported of these. This is a very difficult issue to deal with, even for those of us with training and experience, because The impact of rape stays with the survivor for life.

If a child is raped, they will get counseling, medical assistance and other support but they will never fully recover from the trauma and even physical harm. This is why I support the work of the Spotlight Initiative to raise awareness and share messages about the prevention of rape and abuse of women and children. It is important that we work as hard as we can to stop this violence and let the perpetrators be punished.

Newly renovated and equipped Women's and Children's Protection Center at Sanniquille Police Station.

Liberia/Helen Mayelle . Highlights Initiative

‘Women are being heard’

After COVID-19 and Ebola We have seen a lot of rape cases because the perpetrator has an advantage when the children are at home. Women and girls are very vulnerable… they have been vulnerable since ancient times. Now, women are participating and being heard.

We have been trained in different areas of dealing with sexual and gender based violence and how to work with rape survivors. Spotlight has a team that can come and monitor us, keep track of cases we’ve filed, and cases that are forwarded to court. They also collect data on cases.

Through Spotlight, we have seen many women and girls reporting cases on their own. Previously, it would go through other members of the community who were knowledgeable about the law and judicial processes, but with an awareness created on how to report cases. [women and girls] coming here openly.

Spotlight also renovated our office building and provided us with chairs, desks, and computers for us to work on. They gave us a motorbike for us to track cases from remote communities.

Spotlight offers signs that say “stop rape” and others that say “rape is a crime”. Some placards explain that there are people available to help rape victims and where to report cases of abuse. They also have messages for offenders that ‘if you commit this crime, you will be punished’. People read these signs and change their behavior. Victims and people reporting incidents now know that they are protected by law if they do. They know that there are people to help them.

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