Follow up on gender based violence stories – WOMEC to journalists

Mrs. Charity Binka , a Journalist and the Executive Director of Women, Media and Change (WOMEC), has urged journalists to follow up on reported sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) stories to their conclusions in order to achieve meaningful results.

Mrs. Charity Binka observed that journalist are often carried by the euphoria to first break stories on sexual and gender based violence but are unlikely to keep track of the cases to the end.

To encourage an attitudinal change towards ending sexual and gender based violence in Ghana, she charged journalists to extensively report on SGBV by highlighting other similar cases, following the investigative and legal process, the psychological and long-term trauma or the social costs of such violence.

“We are saying that, if you report it as your headline story for the first day, you should be interested in finding out how the case ended. If you do that, prosecutors would sit up, family members would also sit up,” She said

Mrs Binka was speaking as a facilitator at a two-day dialogue with the media in Ho by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.

The dialogue, which brought together practitioners from Greater Accra and Volta Region, sought to among things, create awareness on sexual and gender-based violence among the media and to enable them recognize the significant role they play in setting the agenda to cause behavioral change in Ghana.

Rape cases and gender violence seem to be rampant in the country. According to the 2014 statistics from DOVVSU, out of the 17,778 cases of various forms of violence received nationwide, 4,415 were assault on women, 335 were rape cases and defilement of girls accounts for 1,296.

Ms. Hilary Gbedemah, who was also a resource person at the forum equally admonished journalists not to treat survivors of gender violence as being complicit in the act. She explained that headlines or story angles that suggest that the survivors of sexual violence encouraged the attack on themselves by something they did, wore, went, or said should be avoided.

By King Norbert Akpablie/