Volta region has seen a decline in rape and defilement cases in 2022 as against 2021.
The region recorded 31 and 39 rape and defilement cases in 2022 as against 49 and 136 in 2021, respectively.
There was also a decrease in abduction, non- maintenance, and assault cases in the year under review, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Juliana Mawusi Yuiah, Deputy Coordinator of Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Volta Regional Police Command, has disclosed.
DSP Yuiah who made the disclosure at an end of year Volta Child Protection Committee meeting said the reduction in the cases was due to the education carried out by the Unit and that there were plans to intensify the education this year.
The Coordinator said apart from receiving and investigating cases of abuse against children, they also undertook sensitisation activities, especially in schools to educate the pupils and students on sexual related abuses.
She said the engagement was targeted at both Primary and Junior High students to educate them on the common ploys adopted by perpetrators to abuse or exploit them so they would be vigilant to avoid falling prey to their stratagem.
DSP Yuiah said the consequences of rape and defilement were dire, hence, the education was also aimed to empower and encourage the students to come out boldly to report such cases to the appropriate authorities for proper handling.
“Schools visited in the year under review included Philip Akpo R.C Junior High School, Ho Kpodzi Basic Schools, Mawuli Primary, Dora Memorial School complex, Holy schools and Junior high schools, UHAS Basic schools, Islamic Basic School, 66 Artillery Basic Schools, Henry House Basic School,” she said.
DSP Yuiah said some parents and guardians were also sensitised during Parent Teacher Association meetings on their roles in providing for their children, especially the girl child so they would not fall prey to unscrupulous men.
On challenges facing the Unit, she said, the Unit was faced with several challenges including lack of means of transport to move swiftly on cases, visit scenes of crimes to pick vital evidence on time and make follow-ups on cases.
There was also lack of funds to support victims of abuse, especially rape and defilement victims who were extremely poor and cannot afford to pay their medicals to facilitate investigate, she added, and appealed for support.
Mr Alfred Dzikunoo, Programmes Coordinator, Plan International Ghana, said some selected youth in their operational communities and districts have been trained on how to demand accountability from their respective assemblies.
Madam Emily Adevor, Partnership Facilitator, Compassion International Ghana, Adaklu-Agotime Cluster, said they implemented several activities in 2022 in safeguarding the rights of children and promoting their welfare.
She said one of their major focuses in the year under review was protecting children against social, psychological, and emotional insecurity and distress, noting that a lot of children suffered such insecurities but not much has been done in that regard to address them.
Madam Adevor said they also intensified education on abuses including physical and sexual in all their operational areas including churches to draw their attention to the need to protect children against all forms of abuse.