THE Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), has initiated a programme to help children to identify sexual abuse and various forms of violence and report them promptly to the appropriate authorities.
Pursuant to that, about 40 children selected from four basic and two senior high schools in the Afadzato South District of the Volta Region, have attended a day’s sensitisation workshop on ‘Domestic Violence and Related Crimes’ at Tsito.
Also present were representatives of various stakeholder groups, including traditional authorities and the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU).
Police Chief Superintendent Mercy Wilson-Brown, Volta Regional DOVVSU Commander, said at the opening ceremony that keeping mute over abuse and violence was one way of giving birth to the perpetuity of the pain of the victim.
She said that some abuse victims suffered the injustice for far too long because there were no ready channels for them to convey their pains.
Touching on rape, defilement, incest, and child marriage, the regional DOVVSU commander urged the participants to watch out for such signs as truancy, moodiness, sitting posture and others among their peers, and report them immediately to their teachers, chiefs, pastors or other sane adults in the community, if they could not come over to the offices of DOVVSU immediately.
“Let us be watchdogs in our schools and identify such situations, and call the attention of teachers,” she added.
Chief Superintendent Wilson-Brown cited the recent kidnapping and subsequent murder of the four Takoradi girls and the growing trend of cyber fraud in the country as “emerging crimes which were previously not known to us”.
Therefore, she called on all and sundry, to be vigilant always and blow the whistle without delay over any unusual situation in the community.
Chief Superintendent Wilson-Brown cautioned the participants to abstain from premature sex, saying sex was not meant for children and that it could have dire consequences on them.
Dr Emmanuel Amaglo, Medical Officer in-charge of the Volta Regional Police Clinic, pointed out that some domestic violence abuse victims could suffer mental imbalance, permanent disability, development challenges, social disorder, loss of human resource and sometimes death.
Reporting the violence promptly was one effective way of addressing such crimes effectively, he added.
Mr Gershon Krah, Ho Branch Organiser of the GPRTU, pledged the union’s firm stance to collaborate with DOVVSU to fight domestic violence.
FROM ALBERTO MARIO NORETTI, TSITO