The Queen of Ho-Dome, Mama Atrato III, has expressed concern over the spate of violent crimes against girls and young women which hit the Ho municipality this year, and urged parents to sit up to their responsibilities to curb the trend.
She observed that most of the cases involved young women who were either battered or killed by their boyfriends, indicating the lack of proper support from the parents or families of the victims.
Mama Atrato said these in an exclusive interview with the Ghanaian Times in Ho at the weekend.
She cited a recent UNFPA study in Ho in which some adolescent girls revealed that their parents did not even buy them such basic items as sanitary pads, and that compelled them to seek help from boyfriends or elderly men.
“In this situation, for instance, the girls or young women get sexually exploited by their benefactors who sometimes subjected them to physical torture,” Mama Atrato added.
According to her, some girls were not willing to go to school because they felt rejected by their parents, deprived and unable to concentrate on their studies.
For that matter, she said that they were ready to go into sexual relationships with working men to get food, money, shelter and other favours from the men in return.
“And without their parents monitoring them, they drift into alcoholism, unprotected sex, drugs and other vices,” Mama Atrato said.
She sought to know how a parent could remain quiet without taking any decision after realising that her underage daughter was suddenly in possession of an expensive cellular phone.
Still on child security, the queen said that it was very important for landlords to demand the full identities, know places of work of their prospective tenants and also carry out background checks on them before renting out rooms to them.
She said that it was rather sad and dangerous how some people who witnessed crimes against helpless girls and young women failed to alert the police, and pointed out that the growing ‘walk-on’ culture was dangerous to the entire society.
The Queen of Ho-Dome urged public-spirited individuals to promptly report cases of abuse against girls and young women in their neighbourhoods to the police or other authorities for immediate action to be taken.
“Keeping quiet over the problem only gives birth to the perpetuity to the problem and that is also a crime on the part of the witnesses who fail to report them,” she stated.
There have been at least four reported cases of men beating or stabbing their girlfriends to death in Ho this year.
The latest of such cases involved the discovery of the mutilated body of the young woman in a refrigerator in her boyfriend’s room at Ho-Fiave last week Monday.
FROM ALBERTO MARIO NORETTI, HO