Woman Claiming Graveyard Sexual Harassment Goes Into Hiding After Revelation
Monrovia – One of the alleged victims of Police sexual harassment, Patience Dixon, says she has gone into hiding since she broke her silence on the matter of being sexually harassed by some officers of the Liberia National Police at the Palm Gove Cemetery on Center Street in Monrovia.
Report by Edwin G. Genoway, Jr – [email protected]
“It was good you left your Cellcom number here—since your published the story that morning, in the night time, the same four Police officers came to the graveyard and started beating on us for selling them to the press.”
“For me, they never beat on me, it was my friend Princess the one that they were beating. While they were beating her, they were at the same time asking for me, ‘where patience, where Patience.”
“When I heard them asking, I hide myself in one of the graves until they left”- Patience Dixon, a woman claiming Police sexual harassment from Police
Patience told FrontPageAfrica more than a week ago that at a particular instance, four Police officers sexually abused her on account that she was engaged in prostitution and drug trade and if she refuses to have sex with them, they would ensure she is sent to prison.
Though she did not name any of the officers who allegedly abused her, but she said it has become quite a trend for the men in blue.
“They can arrest us for smoking drugs, and when they are carrying us to the Police station, they always put fear in us that they will put us in jail for long time.”
“When we hear that, we can start begging them but they can say no, and the only way they can release us is for them to have sex with us in the graveyard and me I can agree because I want to be free,” she noted.
Since the publication of her startling revelation, Patience says she is being allegedly haunted by unidentified Police officers for exposing them.
The alleged sexual victim contacted FPA via a private mobile number and explained that she and her friends are being chased out of the graveyard since they spoke with FPA about the harassment against them by some Police officers.
She explained on the phone that she cannot reveal her location because, according her, the Police are seeking to jail her for drugs because she and her friends exposed them.
“It was good you left your Cellcom number here—since your published the story that morning, in the night time, the same four Police officers came to the graveyard and started beating on us for selling them to the press. For me, they never beat on me, it was my friend Princess the one that they were beating.”
“While they were beating her, they were at the same time asking for me, ‘where patience, where Patience.’ When I heard them asking, I hide myself in one of the graves until they left,” she explained on the phone.
Patience said after the Police left that night because they couldn’t find her, the following night was worse as the officers again came into the graveyard in search of those who talked to the media.
“If you think I am lying, go there and find out for yourself. The Police went there to find us again, they told some of our friends that when they grab us we will go to jail for drugs and they even told our friends that they will send us to Grand Gedeh in jail.
Right now we are not sleeping in that graveyard again, we on our different level different place,” she noted on the phone.
Eyewitnesses confirm Police hunt
A FrontPageAfrica reporter who quickly visited the Palm Grove Cemetery upon dropping the line with Patience interviewed some of the cemetery dwellers who confirmed that Patience and her friends are on the run from Police officers for explaining about what goes on at the cemetery.
One of the dwellers only identified as Zama Man, explained that he’s aware of the girls being on the run by the Police.
“Proh, let me tell you the true, the day we get ready for these man them we will run them from that Metro Police station. Those foolish Police people can come in our own backyard (graveyard) and start to run behind us like we steal from them.
Last week Monday, the Police guys entered the graveyard and started looking for our girls them, they have caused our girls to run away from here,” he explained knocking his chest.
But Police spokesman Sam Collins said the complaint is not before him at the moment when he was contacted Monday night via mobile. He promised to launch an investigation into the matter at later date.
The Palm Grove Cemetery on Center Street, otherwise known as the Center Street graveyard, is serving as a multipurpose street for those occupying it and some residents living outside the graveyard.
Center Street is one of the major streets in Central Monrovia. It starts from Ashmun Street, hitting the UN Drive and passing through the Palm Grove Cemetery thus dividing the cemetery into two.
One side of the cemetery facing the Ministry of Public Works is being used as a place for people to ease themselves and dispose of garbage, while the other side facing the Ministry of Gender is being used as dwelling place for drugs users and criminals.
Junior Campbell one of those living in the cemetery says he has his relatives in Buchanan Grand Bassa County.
He came to Monrovia during attack on the port city by one of Liberia’s many belligerent groupings during the last round of fighting-the MODEL attack in Grand Bassa.
He says he used to live in the New Defense Building in Congo Town otherwise known as 540 but explained that he became homeless when government asked occupants of the building to leave.
He noted that he found himself in Palm Grove when he couldn’t find sleeping place in Monrovia. He scavenges dumpsites collecting copper and aluminum to sell and survive.
“For me I living in the graveyard but I am not a criminal. I go on the ‘dumppa’ to collect my copper and sell them for living, my parents are in Buchanan but I cannot go home because the life I am now living and my parents are not willing to take me home,” he explained.
Relocate the Cemetery, residents cry
Residents of Center Street near the Palm Grove Cemetery are calling on government to relocate the overly filled resting ground of the dead. Many of the residents believe that the cemetery is posing serious harm to residents living around the vicinity.
Some residents told FPA that they are not living in peace as criminals normally snatch items and run into the fenced graveyard for safe haven.
Mardea Kelley is a resident of the Center Street community who is in support of government relocating the Cemetery. She sells cold water and soft drinks near the metro Police station on Center Street. Mardea is angry with the way the cemetery is polluting the community due to the scent of human feces.
“The pupu scent that comes from this graveyard is not for fun. When you see people entering there to pupu, you think they are going to work. We want for government to take this graveyard from here, it is embarrassing us too much,” she complained.
Vickie Johnson is another resident who does not support the cemetery being on Center Street. She said their clothes normally get missing whenever they wash and hang them to get dry.
“Can you imagine we cannot even be free to hang our clothes on the line outside because as soon you make up your mind, it will vanish by those criminals living in the graveyard. We will only live in peace when this graveyard is relocated from here,” she recommended.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf over a year ago mandated the relocation of the cemetery but that is yet to be done.