General News of 2014-01-10

Child sexual abuse on the rise - DOVVSU

The Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service has revealed that child sexual abuse is on the rise.
According to the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of DOVVSU, ASP Irene Oppong, statistics available to the unit indicate a sharp rise in reported cases for 2013.
“Comparing last year, the first quarter to the third, to the previous years, it shows that there is an increase in defilement cases and the Greater Accra region top the list. About 95% of the perpetrators are known to the victims meaning that there is some sort of relation.”
ASP Irene Oppong however says the highest number of acts of sexual abuse recorded in the Greater Accra Region occur between family members.
In an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show, ASP Irene Oppong said although her outfit is fighting to reduce the rate, the attitudes of witnesses affect prosecutions in court.
According to her, most complainants and victims “fail to appear” before the court to testify against the offenders of these cases thereby “making it difficult for the prosecutor to prosecute the offender,” and impeding the efforts of the police officer handling the case.
Meanwhile, some parents who spoke to Citi News expressed worry over the increasing number of cases, saying they can’t trust anybody with their children anymore.
“It is very worrying and alarming looking at the fact that most of these cases happen between families (a father and a daughter). Now you can’t even live your kids with anyone,” a parent lamented.
Some parents also attributed the cases to the improper way and manner young girls dress and asked that they dress according to their ages.
“Young children should learn to dress like children and stop wearing all these weaves that make them look attractive,” another parent advised.
She advised parents to trust their children when they report cases of such nature to them.
“We are appealing to all schools, be it private or the public sector, that when we come to their premises asking for time to talk to the students they should give us time so that we can save the lives of these children,” she added.