Report sexual abuse victims: Police warn religious leaders, community & school heads
The Ghana Police Service (GPS) has cautioned religious leaders, school heads, families as well as community leaders, to desist from the act of settling issues of sexual abuse in their communities since their involvement is a violation of the law.
According to the Service, any form of sexual abuse including but not limited to rape and defilement should be reported to the police for legal action, as anyone who involve in settling rape or defilement issues will be dealt with.
The Head of Legal and Prosecution at the Criminal Investigation Department of the GPS, Superintendent Sylvester Asare, gave the caution last week Friday in Accra, at an advocacy campaign meeting on sexual violence against women and girls.
It was organised by the Centre for Health Development and Research (CEHDAR), to educate the public and brainstorm on measures in minimizing sexual abuse in the country.
Superintendent Asare called on women and girls not to shield men who sexually abuse them, adding that victims of sexual abuse should not allow the church, family, friends, as well as community leaders to address the issue without reporting such incidents to the police.
He said it was the responsibility of the police to prosecute perpetrators to minimize incidents of sexual abuse in the society; as such legal action would serve as deterrent to others.
The Acting Director In Charge of Claims at the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Dr Abigail Nyarko Cojoe, urged victims of sexual abuse to use their National Health Insurance Card to access their medical care at any public facility for screening, when issued with medical form from the police.
She said the NIA card covers about 90 per cent of the medical cost, including laboratory, medication and consultation, hence, victims could be examining without paying for such services at the any public hospital.
In a speech read on behalf of the Minister for Gender, Children, and Social Protection, Madam Lariba Zuweira Abudu said, sexual violence disproportionately affects women and causes devastating consequences such as physical injuries and mental health problems.
She added that a victim of sexual violence suffers long-term, far-reaching consequences, including persistent inequalities between men and women, which limit women and girls’ abilities.
The President of CEHDAR, Dr Jemima Dennis-Antwi used the platform to advise young girls and women to immediately seek medical care when sexually abused to avoid contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
BY BERNAR BENGHAN