Despite President Weah’s declaration of gender and domestic based violence as national emergency and committed serious resources to the fight, it appears that the fight against gender and domestic based violence appears to be never-ending. The past few days have seen a significant rise in the amount of gender and domestic based violence that has been committed around the nation.
Among other reported cases; for examples, on October 17, 2022, the Liberia National Police (LNP) said that they had apprehended a guy named Emmanuel Brooks, who was 25 years old, on the suspicion that he had sexually assaulted a child who was five years old in Bong. The preliminary investigation has revealed that the victim was reportedly raped in the room of the suspect after the suspect had claimed to go into his room for rice, at which point the victim had been thrown unconscious in his room.
Similarly, the Maryland County Police Detachment has also taken into custody a 35-year-old woman named Josephine Diabeh. Diabeh is a resident of Zone 2, Pleebo City, in Maryland County, and she is being investigated for the alleged murder of her husband.
During a fist fight on October 17, 2022, the suspect Josephine Diabeh was apprehended when she allegedly grabbed and squeezed her husband Nathaniel William’s private parts, which ultimately led to his death. This action led to Josephine’s imprisonment.
During the preliminary inquiry conducted by the police, the suspect, Josephine Diabeh, acknowledged to grasping and squeezing her husband’s private parts during an argument between the two of them that led to a fist fight between the two of them.
On the next day, October 18, 2022, the Liberian National Police announced the arrest of a man in Bong County on suspicion of killing his wife for the sum of five hundred Liberian dollars. An individual by the name of Kokulo Kpaquea was said to have been apprehended by the authorities for the murder of his wife on their property.
The story claims that a man named Suspect Kpaquea, a resident of God Farm Community in Gbarnga Bong County, killed his wife by chopping her multiple times on the neck and back because she refused to give him a sum of money equal to five hundred Liberian dollars ($3.30 USD). This allegedly occurred after she told him she did not have the money.
The preliminary investigation conducted by the police indicates that the suspect, identified as Kpaquea, and his wife, identified as Nowai Yakpawollo, went to the farm on October 18, 2022. There, the suspect is said to have killed his wife on the grounds that he gave her money to keep, but she always refuses to give him money whenever he asks her for money.
In addition, Yorbor Morris, who was 14 years old at the time of his arrest and lived in Worbasu, Voinjama District, Lofa County, was taken into custody on September 26, 2022 after he allegedly sodomized a 5-year-old boy on a farm near Wosesu, Voinjama District, Lofa County. This led to him coming into conflict with the law and resulting in his arrest.
The alleged offender was taken into custody as a result of a complaint that was submitted by the victim’s mother on September 26, 2022. In the complaint, the victim’s mother said that Yorbor Morris had sexually molested her son, who was 5 years old at the time, on the farm on September 22, 2022.
It became clear during the preliminary inquiry conducted by the police that the victim had been subjected to sexual abuse after it was determined from medical records.
The police reported that the suspected offender, Yorbor Morris, was charged with the commission of the crime of Sodomy/Statutory Rape and that the case has been forwarded to court for prosecution. This decision was made based on the evidence that was available.
Worryingly, government officials are also involved in inflicting violence against women, as in the case of Andrew Anderson, the Program Manager of the International Investment Commission, who brutalized his ex-wife on the grounds that she went to his house unannounced to visit the children.
We are seriously concerned about these developments because they greatly undercut the gains that have been made. We cannot continue to talk about peace when these heinous actions are committed against the people. We wish to call the attention of all stakeholders to get back to the drawing table to review the approach and possibly redesign.