Liberia: Girl, 13, Forced Into Motherhood after Being Raped by Brother-in-Law

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MONROVIA – Sitting and playing with a brown and white teddy bear, like any child her age, 13-year-old Jane Doe (not her real name), never dreamt of being forced into early motherhood. Little Jane was forced into such herculean adult life after being raped and impregnated by her sister’s husband, Joseph Kermon, at the tender age of 12.

She explained on Loineria News Agency, LINA Panorama, that her sister’s husband accused the sister and mother of practicing witchcraft and said he could not live in the same house with witches, so he put them out and left her behind to help take care of the sister’s baby, who had grown attached to her.

“It started when my aunty used to go to sell food in the market. He used to come in the room where me and the other girls slept and he used to tell me to go make hot water for him. When I go with him, he used to put his hands over my mouth and carry me inside my aunty room and do bad things to me. He told me that if I report, he was going to kill me,” she narrated. 

She disclosed that Kermon even attempted on one of the bigger girls, but she refused.

According to her, it was her grandmother, who detected that she didn’t look “normal” because she started getting “fat”. For sure, when her grandmother checked her medically, she found out that Jane was pregnant.

Sexual violence against women has increased by 50% in the country during the pandemic. The Ministry of Justice recorded more than 600 reported rape cases, between January and June alone. While the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection, said the widespread reports of abuse and sexual violence against children, and adolescents are crucial. Sexual violence against and rape of children and even infants is common. Reports indicate that most rape victims are teenagers and young between the ages of 10 and 19. While among sexually active girls under age 15, is at 13.6 percent reported that their first sexual experience was force or against their will.

According to the mother, whenever she came by to check on the children, she would meet Jane sitting behind the house all by herself, and whenever she asked what was bothering her, she would say nothing was happening.

“I did not know what was going on until we found out she was pregnant and when she called the sister’s husband’s name, the sister fainted right away. Jane underwent C-session because her pelvis hasn’t fully developed to allow the passage of her baby.

Jane’s baby is two-weeks old; she does not want to touch the baby or have anything to do with the child.

Whenever, the baby is crying she can tell me, “Mama, your baby is crying oh,” said the mother.

When questioned why she refuses to hold her baby, she started crying and saying, “My friends will be laughing and making fun out of me, when they see me with the baby.”

 The mother said the sister’s husband denied impregnating Jane and he was getting ready to escape when the next-door neighbors informed the police before he could put his plan into motion. He was arrested and taken to the Monrovia Central Prison.

Jane, a fourth grader, wishes to go back to school, but the family does not have the financial potential to send her back. They have left their home due to stigma.

An SOS call has been launched to enable little Jane go back to school. She can be reached through Mrs. Ne-Suah Livingstone +231886553180 (sand wave) and (cash app) Josephine ward 3137426465.

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