MONROVIA-Some magistrates across Montserrado County are stressing the need to have a specialized ‘Domestic Law Court’ to exclusively trail domestic violence cases.
According to the magistrates, the current magistrate courts are not specialized courts and so creating an extra court to focus only on domestic violence cases will help as these cases continue to increases.
Speaking during the validation of the domestic violence law held by the organization for women and children (ORWCH), Abraham Nyenway noted that domestic violence issue needs to be treated with carefulness.
Nyenway also agreed to have a domestic law court as it will squarely base on dealing with persistent non-support and all forms of domestic violence cases.
He further named cultural intervention or influence as one of the major contributors of domestic abuse or violence cases.
Similarly, Andrew Bropleh magistrate blamed the issue of compromise to traditional influence, thus stressing the need to create awareness among communities because not too many women are aware that what they go through is a crime and a violation of their rights.
Magistrate Bropleh furthered that there is still need to do more awareness on the law because since that the law does not exist, it has been around for years.
According to him, most prosecutors are not also aware of the law as the result they only rely on 16.6 of the penal code that talks about support to child and family.
Bropleh believes that the domestic violence law is able to address the different issues around violence women and children suffered; that is when prosecution are aware and acknowledgeable about the law.
In addition to establishing a domestic law court, magistrate Melvin Maculay wants a safe home created as the only way to do away with compromise.
“Settling persistent non-support cases out of court is in the interest of the kids and not intended to seale crimes as people see it.”
At the same time, Facia Harris, Executive Director of Paramount Young Women Initiative thanked ORWCH for providing CSOs with data that is very important for them to continue the advocacy surrounding the domestic violence law.
Ms. Harris termed as new the domestic violence law and will serve as deterrent when there are success stories.
“Domestic violence is private or personnel issue so if a women steps out to say I am fed-up, it means that is grave. She continues; “we are in support of the court and we want to also be in support of us by implementing the law and joining us in the advocacy”.
Presenting findings from the baseline study conducted, ORWCH Executive Director Mmonbeydo Joah said lot of women suffered act that are violence against women and girls.
She explained that of the total of 28 cases monitored, persistence non-support account for the highest, this shows most women are still suffering from persistent economy violence in Liberia.
“Sixty two percent of cases were handled during pre-trial conference. City solicitor general did not know nor have copy of the law. She further; “Not much has changed since the baseline study was conducted.”
She also recommended that one of the courts within the magistrate court be set aside exclusively to heard domestic violence cases; something she believes will lead to the full implementation of the law by magistrate.