Supporting Victims of Sexual Violence

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The goal of the Peace and Development Outreach Volunteers in Liberia is to reduce the incidence of sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) and harassment in schools. Most of the abuses and crimes are perpetrated by teachers and male students against girls between the ages of five to fifteen. In the schools of Lofa County, 25% of the girls who are raped become critically ill and eventually die, 30% of the students who survive rape will never bear children as a result of the damage caused to their genitals and 55% of children who survive rape remain traumatized and imbued with fear. Perpetrators of these rapes usually threaten to kill the girls if they dare speak up and, as a result, the victims do not normally report these crimes. We are working with this wonderful organization to encourage girls, parents and teachers to report these assaults and rapes immediately to law enforcement and to educate them about preventive measures and the legal pathways and resources which are available to them to ensure the perpetrators of these heinous crimes are properly prosecuted by the courts.