Police warn journalists over rape stories

General News of Monday, 16 March 2015

Source: Today Newspaper

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Central Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Ransford Moses Ninson, has stated that the over embellishment of rape and other sexually abusive stories by journalists results in traumatising the victims who sometimes shy away in the pursuit of justice.

According to him, the way and manner some media houses, particularly radio stations, “garnish” rape and defilement stories is doing more harm to the victims than good.

“This is clearly what happened in the alleged KKD rape saga where the way and manner the media carried the stories forced the victim to pull out of the case.” He therefore appealed to the media to be sensitive in their reportage on domestic violence issues and desist from unnecessary sensationalism bearing in mind the emotional and psychological trauma the act may have on the victims.

DCOP Ninson made this known during a day sensitisation programme on upholding journalism best practices in the reportage of sexual and gender based violence for the media in the region. The event came off in Cape Coast last Wednesday.

He also charged the media to be factual and accurate in their reportage to be able to inform the public appropriately, adding that it can sometimes also help judges in taking decisions on cases that come before them.

The commander explained that the programme which is the first of its kind is to educate the media on the domestic violence act and to enable them report on issues as it is.

“We have observed that sometimes some of the media men create problems for the general public, especially victims of this case hence the programme,” he stated.

Queen mother of Mankessim, Nana Ama Amissah, who chaired the programme, noted that sexual abuse and teenage pregnancy has become very rampant in the society and reiterated the need for the media to make good use of the training to help victims have a justified case.

The outgoing Central Regional Director of the Department of Gender, Ms. Paulina Abayage, charged the media to collaborate with society in spearheading for the protection of the citizenry on Gender Based Violence (GBV).

The Police Officer in charge of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) in Cape Coast, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) George Appiah Sakyi, who took the media through the domestic violence act of Ghana entreated the general public not to hesitate in reporting domestic violence since it was a criminal offence in order to bring perpetuators to book.

The Central Regional President of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA,) Mrs. Alice Tettey, charged the media to be guided by the ethics and principles of the profession in order not to create unnecessary chaos and tension with their reportage.