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Women and Postconflict Security: A Study of Police Response to Domestic Violence in Liberia

  • Peace A. Medie (a1)

Domestic violence or Intimate partner violence (IPV) is the form of violence against women (VAW) that is most reported to the police in Liberia. This violence cuts across class, ethnic, religious, and age lines (Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services, et al. 2008) and results in psychological trauma, physical injuries, and, in some cases, death. Societal beliefs that frame domestic violence as a regular part of life serve to legitimize and foster the problem in Liberia (Allen and Devitt 2012; LISGIS et al. 2008) and pose a challenge to the state and to international organizations (IOs) and women's nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that have introduced measures to combat domestic violence since the end of the country's 14-year civil war in 2003. One such effort is the Women and Children Protection Section (WACPS) of the Liberian National Police (LNP), established by the government in collaboration with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and other international partners in 2005. Although the section was established primarily to address rape, its officers are mandated to investigate all forms of VAW, including domestic violence.

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Mary Allen , and Catherine Devitt . 2012. “Intimate Partner Violence and Belief Systems in Liberia.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 27 (17): 3514–31. doi: 10.1177/0886260512445382.

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Eric Bernstein , Pamela Scully , Kou Gbaintor-Johnson , and Rob Stephenson . 2013. “Intimate Partner Violence and Civic Education in Liberia.” Journal of Peacebuilding & Development 8 (3): 6974.

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Moses Chrispus Okello , and Lucy Hovil . 2007. “Confronting the Reality of Gender-Based Violence in Northern Uganda.” International Journal of Transitional Justice 1 (3):433–43.

Patrick Vinck , and Phuong N. Pham . 2013. “Association of Exposure to Intimate-Partner Physical Violence and Potentially Traumatic War-Related Events with Mental Health in Liberia.” Social Science & Medicine 77 (1):449.

Peace A Medie . 2013. “Fighting Gender-Based Violence: The Women's Movement and the Enforcement of Rape Law in Liberia.” African Affairs 112 (448): 377397.

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Politics & Gender
  • ISSN: 1743-923X
  • EISSN: 1743-9248
  • URL: /core/journals/politics-and-gender
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