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Liberia: Anti-Rape Campaign Launched

(Dec. 2, 2007) The Liberian government, with assistance from the United Nations, has undertaken a national campaign to prevent and punish the crime of rape. The project was launched by Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf with the slogan "Stop rape – it could be your mother, your daughter, your sister, your niece." The United Nations Police Commissioner has reported that the number of rapes in Liberia rose from 351 in 2006 to 425 by early December in 2007. Part of the campaign will be establishing women and children's protection units staffed by specially trained police officers to work on arresting the rapists. The Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General and head of the U.N. Mission in Liberia, Alan Doss, said that "Rape is the most frequently committed serious crime in Liberia so we must find more effective ways to stop these crimes before more women and girls are hurt and abused." ( UN Helps Launch Nationwide Anti-Rape Campaign in Liberia, UN NEWS, Dec. 3, 2007.)