General News of Sunday, 18 November 2018
The Domestic Violence and Victims’ Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ghana Education Service (GES), in collaboration with Rich Media Consult, a charitable organisation, have launched a campaign dubbed: “I stand against rape and defilement.”
The campaign aims at connecting all stakeholders to create awareness and work towards reducing cases of rape and defilement in the country.
Speaking at the event, the National Coordinator of DOVVSU, Superintendent Evelyn Borbor, said the unit received an average of 20 cases of defilement and 10 rape cases acrosss the country every month.
The figures, she said, were alarming, and attributed the problem to inadequate education on the subject.
Making reference to statistics gathered by her outfit in 2017, which indicated that, 790 cases of defilement and 307 cases of rape, were reported that year, she said that the figures could go up this year, if immediate steps were not taken to combat the menace.
“The lack of education is a major cause of the increment we are seeing this year. A lot of children do not know how to protect themselves against perpetrators of rape and defilement, and the fact that even when they become victims, most parents do not know the measures to take to ensure that they do not occur again,” she stated.
A section of the participants
Explaining the difference between rape and defilement, Supt. Borbor stated that: “defilement occurs when one performs an unlawful sexual act on a female below 16 years old, while rape refers to the situation when a female above 16 years is sexually assaulted without her consent.”
Supt. Borbor mentioned the lack of willingness on the part of victims to report cases and the absence of stiffer sanctions against offenders as major challenges confronting the efforts of the DOVVSU in rooting out the problem.
She advised victims and their relatives not to deal with such cases privately to shield the suspects but report the offenders to the police for the necessary action.
Supt. Borbor appealed to the government to make the treatment of victims of rape and defilement free at the various hospitals, saying DOVVSU had suffered challenges in prosecuting some offenders because the affected persons claimed they could not pay for the medical reports needed to initiate the prosecution process.
According to the Director of the Rich Media Consult, Reverend Jerry Roland Okai, the fight against rape and defilement, which started years ago, had not yielded the needed results because the efforts were inadequate.
He expressed the commitment of the charity to collaborate with all stakeholders to generate workable solutions to the problem.
For her part, the Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister, Ms Elizabeth K.T. Sackey, urged parents to create good relationships with their children to enable their children to confide in them at all times.