Today January 18, 2022

Do not interfere in SGBV issues with Police—Stakeholders to influentials

 

Accra,— Stakeholders at a Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) workshop have called on “influential people” in society to desist from interfering in gender-based violence cases reported to the Police.

They said it was necessary for them to desist from the interference for victims to attain justice since they usually assist offenders to escape punishment.

 

They gave the call at a workshop for community leaders to raise awareness on the appropriate treatment of SGBV issues organised in Accra by Inerela Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organisation.

 

SGBV is a violent act mainly or exclusively committed against women or girls and such violence is often considered a form of hate crime committed against women or girls specifically because they are females and that can take many forms.

 

The workshop brought together chiefs, queen mothers, religious leaders, assembly members, opinion leaders, psychologists, gender advocates, and members of the security service.

 

Madam Mercy Naa Afrowa Needjan, President of the Greater Accra Market Association said usually, ‘high profile persons’ used their positions to interfere or assist perpetrators in cases of SGBV to get away with them.

 

“How can an elderly man defile a 5-year-old girl and ask to be set free? It is not right,” she said.

 

Madam Needjan said there were several interventions and workshops held to curb the canker but it still existed, hence, urged stakeholders to collaborate efforts to mitigate it entirely.

 

She appealed to parents to prioritise protecting their children from harm by engaging them and educating them frequently.

 

Sheikh Hussein Abdul Rahaman, Special Assistant of National Imam of the Ahlussunna Wal Jama’a (ASWAJ) and an Arbitrator says instilling moral education into the citizenry would prevent acts of violence.

 

He advised men to value women and avoid maltreating, which made them to feel inferior.

 

Sheikh Rahaman appealed to the security services to enforce the laws of SGBV and not hesitate to prosecute offenders without considering their position in society to serve as a deterrent to others.

 

‘‘Do not push cases back to us, arrest them if they are found guilty and isolate them from society to protect us,’’ he said.

 

Mrs Paulina Essel, a Counseling Psychologist, Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) said counselling was one of the solutions to the issues of SGBV as it speaks to the conscience of people.

 

She advised victims to seek early counselling since it was confidential, adding that they would not be blamed but would be shown empathy, have their decisions supported, and be provided with the needed support.

 

She said counselling improves self-esteem, which victims would need after their ordeal and it could prevent the recurrence of violence as well.

 

She emphasised that seeking counselling did not meant one was ‘mad’ and advised the citizenry to change their perceptions about counselling.

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

 

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