First Lady Lauds Landmark Passage of Domestic Violence Act

MONROVIA, Montserrado – First Lady Clar Marie Weah has praised the Liberian Senate for passing the Domestic Violence Act.

Last Thursday, members of the Senate voted to agree with members of the House of Representatives to pass the bill.

According to a press release issued by the first lady’s office, Weah hailed members of the Senate and House of Representatives for their collective actions, which she believes would advance new levels the protection of women, girls, and children, who are most frequently the victims of domestic violence and other related crimes in the country.

She expressed confidence that the bill, when it goes into effect after President George Weah signs it, will serve as a major tool in curbing the already alarming incidents of sexual gender-based violence, such as rape.

The first lady cautioned perpetrators of domestic violence and predators to begin to rethink their actions, as they are prone to face the full weight of the law without compromise.

Recently, members of the Liberia Feminist Forum and other rights campaigners demanded that the government increase its attention to sexual and gender-based violence by acting to pass the Domestic Violence Act and placing a ban on female circumcision.

“Failure to act on SGBV as a national priority is consequently facilitating the tragedy we continue to face each day and every week with media reports of violations, abuse, and trauma faced by women, girls and marginalized persons across the country,” the campaigners wrote in a statement.

Meanwhile, the first lady has urged members of the legislature, civil society, traditional chiefs, and the government to also speed up efforts in addressing female circumcision, which was extracted from the initial version of the domestic violence act.

Featured photo courtesy of the Office of the First Lady

Gbatemah Senah

Gbatemah is a graduate of the University of Liberia and a recipient of the Jonathan P. Hicks Scholarship for Mass Communications. In 2017, Senah won three Press Union of Liberia awards: Women's Rights Reporter of the Year, Legislative Reporter of the Year, and Land Rights Reporter of the Year. In 2018, he was also recognized as the Land Rights Reporter of the Year.

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