Liberia's First Lady, Clar Marie Weah, has reiterated that there is no excuse for the alarming incident of rape in Liberia. Delivering a special remark at the opening ceremony of the 2020 Anti-SGBV National Conference launch, Madam Weah said: "THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR RAPE! All Sexual and Gender Based Violence are inhumane and unacceptable. I condemn rape and remain firm in my commitment that the rights of women, girls and children are protected."
"Since we took office, I have closely worked with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and our International Partners on SGBV issues. In June 2019, We launched the “She’s U Movement.” A movement geared at providing necessary support for women, girls and children victimized by SGBV, as well as providing help to other vulnerable and marginalized groups," First Lady Weah added.
"But with all our efforts, SGBV persists. It is sickening to hear children as young as 10yrs old are being raped. There have been outcries on the penalties for perpetrators or would be perpetrators. The Anti -SGBV Road Map 2020-2022 has given clearer directions. However, I strongly believe our concentration should focus more on PREVENTION rather than punishment because of the physical, emotional and psychological impacts SGBV has on its victim."
She furthered noted that the DNA machines and safe houses are necessary, but indicated that SGBV awareness should be the main tool use in our fight against SGBV. According to her, The DNA machine will identify the right perpetrator and the safe house will provide temporary shelter but the scars from SGBV are permanent. Therefore, we should prevent it from happening.
First Lady Weah insisted that "We must educate our men and boys in schools, churches, Mosques and our communities against SGBV. Let us speak out and not be silent; prosecute the perpetrators and not shield them. We must protect the victims and refuse to compromise with people who are committing these atrocities."
"This is unbearable and I am angry. WE ARE ANGRY," she alarmed.
First Lady Weah insisted that the act of RAPE must stop, noting our children are the future; we must protect them. Enough is enough! Let us hold hands and fight together. SGBV must end!