Date of Conferral





Human Services


Nathan R. Moran


The phenomenon of sexual violence against women in Liberia is a disturbing problem. Despite the significant number of individuals who have faced sexual assault in this country, little is known about the roots and long-term implications of this phenomenon within the context of Liberia, as well as the instruments that could be effective in remedying its effects. This study was conducted to understand how conflict-related sexual violence affects women in Liberia and suggest ways to help address it. The research questions addressed the effect of war-related sexual violence against women in Liberia and the strategies that are necessary to remedy these effects. Politico-economic theories of war onset and international relations of civil wars were used to frame the study. The exploratory case study approach was used to collect data from 15 participants in Liberia who were familiar with the political, economic, and cultural context of the problem and were capable of relating these issues to discussions bordering on violence in Liberian society. The interview data were analyzed and coded. The findings indicated that the effects of war-related sexual violence against women in Liberia could be divided into four categories: physical impacts, mental impacts, short-term impacts, and long-term impacts. The themes related to the ways to address the problem included a strong need for greater governmental involvement, and from a social standpoint, there is a strong need to facilitate micro- to macrolevel transformation. Findings from this research and social change implications could help local and international organizations to develop and implement customized solutions to remedy the implications of sexual violence against women in Liberia.