Victims of sexual abuse to receive psychosocial support

Kumasi, Nov. 27, GNA - HopeXchange Medical Centre, a private health facility in Kumasi, has opened a clinic to cater for victims of sexual abuse in the Ashanti Region.

It aims at helping to break the silence, provide care, comfort, and psychosocial support and counselling for such victims.

Dr Oheneba Owusu-Danso, the Chief Executive Officer of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), speaking at the ceremony, said the setting up of the facility was relevant and timely in an era where child sexual abuse had become common.

He said children were invariably dependent, vulnerable and delicate, which was why they must be protected, appreciated and loved.

He said the internet had become a major risk factor of child sexual abuse due to the kind of programmes showed when children were active at home and unattended to.

Dr Owusu-Danso said adopted and physically or mentally handicapped children were prone to sexual abuse because of their peculiar challenging circumstances.

Beyond those challenges, poverty and ignorance were also factors for the increasing child sexual abuse.

It is estimated that about 90 per cent of children who were victims of child abuse of all forms, knew their abusers, and these abusers normally lived close to victims.

Ghana, however, was making strides in combating child crimes with initiation of laws and policies and the establishment of institutions to deal with such crimes.

Dr Adoma Dwomo-Fokuoh, Paediatrician at the HopeXchange Medical Centre, explained that the health facility was ready to offer the needed support to bring relief to children who fell prey to incidence of rape, defilement, sodomy and other forms of sexual violence.

She appealed to parents, guardians, the police and other key stakeholders caring for victims of sexual abuse to refer such victims to the facility for prompt attention.

Dr Dwomo-Fokuoh called on stakeholders to support them financially in order to implement the policy which would take care of victims free of charge.

Professor Tsiri Agbenyega, Medical Director at the Centre, said the clinic was embarking on the campaign to help children to be free from sexual abuse and called on society to be responsive to issues of abuse.