-Gender Ministry says rape cases increased by 2%  


By: G Bennie Bravo Johnson I

As Liberia joins the global community to advocate against all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls, there is still more to be done to end sexual and gender based violence against women.

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, 2022 data on gender based violence shows that there is a 2.1%  increase in sexual gender violence as compared to previous years, that is believed to come as the results of culture of silence, family-based settlement of SGBV cases, harmful traditional practices,

“While significant progress has been made toward addressing all forms of violence against women and girls, we are still challenged. Though we have enlightened the population about the SGBV referral pathway, there still remains a culture of silence, family-based settlement of SGBV cases, harmful traditional practices, early child marriages and other vulnerabilities leading to the raping of minors, young girls and boys.” Minister Tarr

At a news conference over the weekend, at the initial launch of the sixteen days of activism against sexual gender base violence, Gender Minister Willimetta Saydee Tarr disclosed that in 2022, there were 1,975 GBV cases reported, with 66.4% accounting for rape, gang rape, and sodomy, while 33.6% accounting for other forms of GBV. 

She adds that 65% of the reported cases involved female survivors under 18 years old.

In her deliberation, she reported that between January and August 2023, a total of 2,109 GBV cases were reported, with 68.5% or 1,446 cases accounting for rape, gang rape, and sodomy affecting 68% or 1,440 survivers under the age of 18 years.

In continuation, minister Tarr stated that there is a persisting increase of rape cases in Montserrado, Nimba, Lofa and Grand Cape Mount, with each county accounting for approximately 30% -35% increase in sexual gender base violence.

“The Ministry would also like to announce that Montserrado, Nimba, Lofa and Grand Cape Mount are still reportíng high cases of SGBV according to the Ministry’s latest stats.

According to the stats covering January to September 2023, Montserrado County alone reported 1,223 cases of SGBV as compared to SGBV stats are Montserrado County recorded 959 cases. 

In 2022, Nímba County recorded 189 SGBV cases while in 2023 the number of cases increased to 315. Also, in 2022, Lofa County recorded 99 cases while in 2023, the number of cases increased to 237 as at September. 

Grand Cape Mount County also reported 37 cases in 2022, but the number has increased to 183 cases in 2023 as of September this year.” Minister Tarr stated 

However, the launch of this year sixteen days of activism against SGBVs which was held under he global theme this year is: “UNITE! Invest to Prevent Violence against Women & Girls” and the National Theme is: “Empower Women, Secure Our Nation: Invest Locally To Prevent Violence Against Women & Girls”.

Is also in continuation of appreciation for all front-liners, particularly  local and international partners,  Civil Society actors, and all other people for the overwhelming commitment in working tirelessly over the years to make sure that the gap is breached to bring to an end the menace of SGBV, especially

rape, and all forms of violence against women, girls and children. 

Meanwhile, the gender minister further revealed that there is significant gain in the fight against sexual gender base violence. She noted that the gains are in the interest of contributing to the national efforts to end violence against women and girls.

“Through the Spotlight Initiative, we made some level of progress in terms of legislative and policy reforns, prevention and social norms influence, strengthening health and social services, standardizing tools and methods for data collection, and support to civil society and women’s movements -all in the interest of contributing to the national efforts to end violence against women and girls.”

She stated that the Spotlight Initiative has directly benefited forty-two thousand three hundred fourteen (42,314) beneficiaries to access multi-sectoral services ranging from health, psychosocial, and justice. 

Eight hundred twenty-five (825) children received health, psychosocial, and access to justice services. Thirty two thousand seven hundred twelve (32,712) women and two thousand one hundred ninety-nine (2,199) men accessed mobile family planning and sexual reproductive health medical


The minister in continuation added that two thousand three hundred (2,300) SGBV survivors accessed essential drugs and supplies for sexual and reproductive health including emergency contraceptives, HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), analgesics, antibiotics, and equipment procured and

distributed to health facilities handling SGBV cases in referral hospitals and laboratories in all five counties of implementation. 

She further stated that Nine hundred eighty-two (982) girls received case

management and referral services. One hundred eighty (180) adolescent girls received skills and start-up kits for self-economic empowerment through small-scale businesses.

While thirty (30) women’s rights advocacy and ninety (90) SGBV community structures were set up in one hundred ten (110) communities. as well as one hundred thirteen (113) community structures were established to track, report, and refer SGBV cases.  Ten (10) two-bedroom shelters for female-headed refugee households surviving and at-risk women of SGBV and Harmful Practices were constructed in the bordering county of Nimba.

In conclusion, the gender minister assured Liberian that the Ministry will continue to work collaboratively relevant stakeholders including HeForShe champions, traditional leaders, counties and national leadership, members of the GBV Observatories to end the menace of sexual gender bas violence with a focus on prevention.