Accra, June 17 , GNA - Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Rosemary Vortia has encouraged adolescents to report people who abuse them sexually to authorities without any fear.
ASP Vortia stated that as the Coordinator for the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU), Weija Division, she had always ensured that sexual violence or any form of abuse, including defilement, incest or rape cases reported were dealt with according to law.
She said this at the lnternational Day of the African Child Day Celebration which was organised by the Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF) in partnership with Crossroads International.
The theme for this year’s African Child Celebration day is, “Sexual Violence Against the Adolescent, Awareness, Sensitisation and Education”.
She educated the adolescent girls and boys on the need to be very careful even with their guardians whilst at home or in school
She encouraged them to report perpetuators to the Police without fear and panic so that their lives would be secured
Adolescents should avoid the practice of lesbianism and homosexuality but rather focus on their education for them to become better future leaders, she added
Mrs Faustina Naana Forson, Director, Monitoring and Supervision, Ga South Municipal Assembly, who chaired the occasion, said the empowerment of girls and engagement of boys as agents of change to report and promote gender equality could reduce sexual violence in the society.
She added that empowering adolescents would increase knowledge, life skills, advocacy capacity and agents of adolescent girls on sexual violence.
Mrs Forson said "we all have an important role to play in challenging cultural norms and stereotypes that could limit us all and underpin violence against adolescents.
“Violence in women and girls were rooted in gender-based discrimination, social norms and gender stereotypes that perpetuate such violence, ”she said.
She said to sustained the progress on preventing and eradicating gender - based violence, there would be the need to educate, respect and work with young boys and girls to promote gender equality.
To achieve equality among adolescents , the government could work with organisations and institutions to increase the active involvement of men and boys in the gender equality campaign to prevent sexual violence, she said.
Ms Melody Ama Evans Darkey, National Programmes Coordinator, WILDAF, said the African Union had set the day aside to draw attention on matters concerning African children.
The AU has aligned the celebration to the rights and responsibilities of African children, Ghana’s own Children's Act and the United Nation's Convention on the child.
Ms Darkey said the African Child Celebration day was commemorated to gain more insight of consent to the issue of sexual violence and its consequences.
She stated that the day was also for parents, adolescent boys and girls to appreciate measures that would protect them against such vices.
International African Child Day Celebration, which falls on June 16, every year, seeks to create awareness on the hopes, realities and challenges of the African Child.