Liberia: Father Alleges Rapes 19-Yr-Old Daughter and Leaves Her Pregnant


MONROVIA – Rebecca Tokpah (not real name) now lives with the regret of not taking her 19-year-old step daughter along when she decided she could no longer live her father because of his abusive nature. The 19-year-old did not only become a victim of physical abuse, but also a rape survivor. She was alleged raped consistently by her own father.

Rebecca told FrontPageAfrica that she broke up with the alleged perpetrator a year ago and left his daughter behind due to circumstances beyond her control.

“The girl identified me as her mother, so when the police called me, she said her father has been sleeping with her every night since I left their house last year and he is the person responsible for her pregnancy,” Rebecca explained.

 The Stepmother who has a son by the alleged perpetrator explained, “When I was leaving his house, I wanted to take the little girl with me, because I am the only mother she knows, but he took my complaint to the police station that I wanted to take his daughter away from him. The police told me since I was not the child’s biological mother, so I could not take the child away from her biological father.”

She lived in the house with only her father and her grandmother.

“He and I are not together again; they called me to the police station because the girl mentioned me as her mother. When her father and I got together, she was seven years old and we have been off and on until we split last year,” Rebecca further explained.

She lamented that now that the perpetrator who happens to be the survivor’s father is going to jail, she does not know how the girl would be catered to as she does not have the financial means to sustain the pregnant girl.

The alleged perpetrator is being held in detention at the Tonpo Village Police Depot on the Japanese Freeway. He has reportedly denied the allegation.

President George Weah released a statement on Sept. 11, 2020 that declared rape a national emergency in the country.

He also introduced the first set of new measures to address the increase in violence against women. The measures include designating a specific prosecutor to handle rape cases and setting up a national sex offender registry. He is also creating a national security task force to handle sexual and gender-based violence and is allocating $2 million to address the issue.

However, Pres. Weah has been heavily criticized for doing too little since the declaration as rape and other forms of violence against women continue to be on the rise in the country.

“You have a government that not only claims to be led by a Feminist-in-Chief and made commitments to take emergency action on rape, and somehow nothing much shifts beyond public statements,” said Lakshmi Moore, former Director of Action Aid Liberia, and an expert in gender issues.

A DNA machined purchased two years ago to help identify the DNA of rape suspects is yet to be used by the John F. Kennedy Memorial Medical Center, the country’s biggest referral hospital.

An alarming number of rape cases continue to report to so-called “one stop centers” where victims receive medical care according to Satta Sheriff, a child rights activist. The majority of cases that seek the medical help of the clinic do not go on to press formal charges with the police against their attackers. 

“It is more than a year since rape was declared a national emergency, but I am afraid that much has not been done from what I saw at the one stop centers,”Ms. Sheriff said. “The high number in rape cases shows that regardless of the president’s declaration, rape still seems to be on the increase.”