Empowering survivors, Educating lawyers

Kula Fofana in Another War
Kula Fofana in "Another War"

jhr trainer and broadcast journalist Bonnie Allen produces a documentary film about sexual violence.

 

In 2009, jhr (Journalists for Human Rights) partnered with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) to deliver training to journalism students in Liberia on sensitive reporting of gender-based violence issues. The NRC then sponsored Another War – a powerful documentary produced by jhr trainer and broadcast journalist Bonnie Allen.

 

The compelling film follows twenty year-old Liberian university student Kula Fofana on her journey to understand the realities of life for those that have survived physical and sexual violence in Liberia and to examine the beliefs and causes surrounding sexual violence. The film brings to the forefront voices of rape survivors, frontline health workers, emerging women activists, Liberia’s Chief Prosecutor for sexual assault crimes, the Minister of Justice and the Gender Ministry’s GBV Unit. Several journalism students, who were trained by jhr and the NRC on sensitive reporting of gender-based violence issues, were given the opportunity to meet rape survivors for the first time, interview high-level government officials and practice ethical reporting of their stories. Kula is also a past participant of many jhr student trainings. Released in September 2010, the film has since been showcased to more than one hundred Liberian lawyers and judges who are responsible for prosecuting rape crimes in the West African nation.

 

Liberia’s low prosecution rate, and even lower conviction rate, of rapists has been blamed on a culture of impunity, dismissal of rape as a crime, and lack of consideration for rape survivors.  Another War provided many of them with their first insight to the realities of sexual violence in Liberia. The film can be viewed at http://vimeo.com/17083011.

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