General News Sun, 10 May 2020
Her chances of getting justice after being victimised by a sexual predator, remains bleak in the face of demands for a medical form endorsement.The 12-year-old girl (name withheld), was allegedly defiled in Tamale in the Northern Region some three weeks ago by an unemployed man; Abdul Latif, believed to be in his 30s, leaving her with walking defects.
Her family, as it stands, is struggling to raise some 800 cedis for a medical doctor at the Tamale Teaching hospital to endorse a medical form after which the process for justice can proceed, even though a medical examination has confirmed there was penetration.
The victim, with permission from her mother, narrated the incident to Citi News;
“He (the man) told me to follow him to his house for something. Without any doubt, I followed him. He then sent me inside and locked the door and forcefully removed my cloth and penetrated me. He then told me that if I tell anyone I will die.”
While the abuser, popularly referred to as A.A in the Vittin neighborhood, is yet to be arrested, the girl’s mother and family remain helpless, with the hospital’s demand for the specified GHc800 which will be required for an endorsement of the form.
“For two weeks, I have struggled with her health, until we realized that she had been defiled by a man. I initially thought it was (tahaga) nappy rashes. Her private part swelled with mucus coming out later.”
A Medical Doctor at the Tamale Teaching Hospital indicated in the victim’s folder that there was forced penetration – causing internal damage as a result. But he demanded for the 800 cedis before the form could be endorsed; an amount the poor family cannot afford.
“They said we should take the form to the hospital for a doctor to endorse it. And when we went, they told us to pay 800 cedis which we can’t afford.”
Parents of the victim are now looking up to benevolent individuals to help raise money with which they can pay the stipulated amount and get justice for their daughter.
“They said we should take the form to the hospital for a doctor to endorse it. And when we went, they told us to pay 800 cedis which we can’t afford. Now we are appealing to the public to come to our aid”, the victim’s mother noted.
Meanwhile, this won’t be the first of such situations in Ghana as it has been an accepted norm in Ghana for victims of sexual abuse pay for endorsement of police forms by medical doctors though that is not statutory.
The Domestic Violence and Victim’s Support Unit of the Ghana Police Service, which issued the medical form says it is waiting for the family to bring the endorsed form before they can take up the case.