By: Ewoenam Kpodo | Voltaonlinegh |
The Volta Regional department of Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service has organised a day’s sensitisation programme to recruit schoolchildren as watchdogs in their various schools and communities in the fight against Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).
The programme held on Wednesday, September 18 at Tsito, Ho West District in the Volta Region which drew about 42 pupils from various basic schools and students from two second cycle institutions in Afadzato South District as participants, got funding support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The Regional Coordinator, DOVVSU, Chief Supt Mercy Wilson-Brown in a presentation on protection and welfare of the child in domestic and other related violence, educated participants on what constitute abuses and the various Acts that protect the interests of a child.
Chief Supt Wilson-Brown who spent considerable time on SGBV including rape, defilement, incest, and child marriage, tasked participants to monitor changes such as truancy, moodiness, sitting posture, worry among others in their peers in school and report early to avert disaster.
“We should not wait until it confuses us. Let’s be watchdogs in our schools and identify such situations and call the attention of teachers.”
She cited the infamous kidnapping of the Takoradi girls recently confirmed murdered by the Police and crimes such as sextortion (committed over cyber space) as “things coming up which were hitherto not known to us” and called on pupils to beware of their environment and report unusual situations to teachers, parents, and the Police to help detect and prevent crimes.
She also cautioned adolescent girls especially, to stay away from sexual activities saying “sex is not for children, because it has dire consequences” while reminding the participants to “keep these things I’m telling you in your heart” for the good of society.
The in-charge, Regional Police Clinic, Ho, Dr. Emmanuel Amaglo called for concerted efforts to reduce cases of domestic violence saying, its effects could be damaging to the victim, the family community and the country at large.
Dr. Amaglo who broadly classified the effects of domestic violence into medical and socio-cultural, said it could lead to mental imbalance, permanent disability and even death (in the case of victims) and developmental challenges, social disorder and loss of human resource (in the case of the society).
Focal Person, UNFPA at the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC), Victoria Odurowa Fato who was at the programme for monitoring, explained that the Agency was running adolescent-targeted programmes in some selected districts in the region and having DOVVSU, National Youth Authority, Department of Gender and Ghana Health Service as sub implementing partners with VRCC playing supervisory role.
Also present at the programme were key stakeholders including representatives of traditional leaders, assembly members, driver unions and teachers from various districts with most of them expressing delight at the programme which they said was appropriate in the wake of increasing incidence of crime across the country.