The recent gang rape of an eight-year-old girl by four boys — aged 9-14 — was shocking enough. Now, police have stated that the girl’s father — who is from Liberia — blamed the girl for being raped and told that police “Take her, I don’t want her.”
As we have discussed on this blog in different stories, cultures in the Middle East and Africa often treat rape victims as shamed and guilty — sometimes even making the women and girls marry their rapists, here and here and here and here and here. India also has displayed such ignorance and prejudice, here.
In this case, the girl was reportedly tricked into going into a shed with the promise of some gum. The police have charged the 14-year-old boy as an adult while charging the other boys — 9, 10, and 13 — as juveniles. This will result in a huge difference in sentencing if convicted and could raise questions of fairness given the the one-year difference between two of the oldest boys.
The police said that the father blamed the girl and said that she had shamed the family.
Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf recently tried to combat the shaming of rape victims by announcing that she was the victim of an attempted rape during the country’s civil war. President Sirleaf has spoken out against the family’s treatment in Arizona, here.
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