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Norsaac demands expedited trial of incest, defilement case

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Norsaac, a civil society organisation, has called for an expeditious trial of a case in which a 14-year-old girl has accused her father of engaging in repeated sexual intercourse with her.

Norsaac has also called on the Police to handle the case sensitively to ensure that the welfare of the girl remains topmost priority as stipulated in the Children’s Act.

On February 21, a referral was made from the Department of Social Welfare on a reported case of a 14-year-old girl in Tamale, who nearly lost her life due to attempted unsafe abortion.

The girl was later referred to the Tamale Teaching Hospital where her life was saved, and the abortion completed.

She then alleged that her father, who managed a private basic school in Tamale, abused her sexually on many occasions leading to the pregnancy.

The case was then reported to the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit of the Ghana Police Service in the Northern Region.

Miss Blessilla Na-afoe Kandoh, Youth Advocacy and Campaigns Coordinator of Norsaac, who addressed a press conference in Tamale on the case, decried the slow pace progress on the case, saying it was not for the protection of the rights of the survivor.

She said, “It is sad to note that for the past few weeks, no actions have been taken by the Police. We may seem restless as we may not understand the nitty-gritty of the legal procedures but what we do know is justice delayed is justice denied. This case is just one in thousands that highlights the challenges and difficulties survivors of abuse face daily in pursuit of justice.”

She said, “Per the latest update received from the Police, the case has been forwarded to the Attorney General’s Department. We hereby, call on the Attorney General’s Department and all other departments concerned to help fast-track this case. The results of this case will bring hope to many other girls in similar situations, who have found it difficult to speak up and report such cases.”

She called on the Regional Directorate of Education to open investigation into the alleged perpetrator’s activities at the school that he was managing, adding, “Where necessary, we expect Ghana Education Service to temporarily take over the school until investigations are completed.”

Ms Kandoh called on the government to work with CSOs to strengthen family, community, and state child protection structures as a way of ensuring action during such violations.

She urged members of the public to denounce all acts of violence against children and take full responsibility and action to ensure their safety and protection, adding, “By so doing, we uphold our collective humanity with the hope that we can co-create a better society where we treat one other with dignity and respect irrespective of age or gender.”

Source: GNA

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