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9.7.2020 : 20:10 : +0200


Peace without Security: Violence against Women and Girls in Liberia

Violence against women and girls—which was a widespread and sinister feature of atrocities committed during Liberia’s 14 years of civil conflict—has long been a serious problem in the country, both prior to the hostilities and since.

Peace without Security: Violence against Women and Girls in Liberia is a new Issue Brief from the Small Arms Survey’s Liberia Armed Violence Assessment project, jointly produced with the Norwegian Refugee Council. The report first examines the extent to which women and girls in Liberia are victims of crimes and violence in general, and then focuses specifically on the patterns and characteristics of sexual and domestic violence.

The analysis is based on the results of a nationwide household survey conducted by the Small Arms Survey, in collaboration with Action on Armed Violence and the Liberian Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services, complemented by data from other information sources, notably the Ministry of Gender and Development’s GBV database, set up and managed with Norwegian Refugee Council support.

 Its main findings are:  

  • Survivors of sexual violence tend to be far younger than survivors of domestic violence and other violent crimes, averaging 16 years of age; however, rape of girls less than 10 years old is not uncommon. This compares to an average age of 27 for survivors of domestic violence and 28 for survivors of all other violent crimes.  
  • Perpetrators of sexual violence and domestic violence are generally considerably older than their victims, averaging approximately 25 and 33 years of age, respectively.  
  • Acts of sexual and domestic violence are just as likely to be committed by males acting alone who are known to their victims, as by certified criminals or delinquent youths.  
  • Weapon use is less common in sexual and domestic violence than in other types of violent crime; however, injuries are more likely to be inflicted in incidents of sexual and domestic violence than in other crime categories.
  • Approximately one-third of domestic violence cases are reported to the police, and many such cases result in an arrest. Yet few alleged perpetrators ever stand trial and convictions are rare.

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