Queenmothers of Ayawaso North Constituency has called on parliamentarians, assemblymen and community leaders to desist from acting as middlemen and bailing accused persons of defilement and rape cases for fear of losing votes.
Hajia Rukaya Suleimana, the Kotokoli Queenmother, said the act was putting their efforts in vain and perpetrators made to escape the law at the mercy of victims.
The Queenmother made the call during an educational campaign organised by Inerela+Ghana, a nongovernmental organisation for the people of Maamobi a suburb of Accra.
She said this was a criminal offense punishable by law but the constant bailing of accused by powers-that-be, did not serve as a deterrent to others, thereby, causing the number of rape and defilement cases to increase in the Constituency.
Hajia Rukaya called for the collaboration between queenmothers, the Police, and nongovernmental organizations to educate the youth in the area to help reduce such cases.
Participants were educated on Sexual- based Violence Against Women & Girls (VAW/G), laws pertaining to domestic violence, child marriage and the need for counselling.
Mrs Pauline L. Essel, Deputy Chief Investigator, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and License Counselor, educated the people on the various forms of abuse and the need to look out for the signs when need be.
She urged women not to allow themselves to be abused in any manner as it was not good for their health.
Lawyer Cephas Essiful Ansah, CHRAJ Legal Officer and Board Member of Inerela+ Ghana, taking participants through portions of the 1992 constitution, the Criminal Offences Act 1960, the Children’s Act Domestic charged them to feel empowered by these laws and report any form of abuse meted out to them.
Participants were also educated on the mandate of the Domestic Violence Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU)to enable them take advantage of it.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Ms Mavis Adjei, Nima Divisional Head of DOVVSU in a presentation said women and girls were the most affected by acts of domestic violence due to ill-treatment in marriages.
She said domestic violence refers to physical, sexual and psychological acts which occur in families including; battering, sexual abuse of female children in the household, marriage-related violence, marital-rape, female genital mutilation and other traditional practices that were harmful to women.
ASP Adjei urged women to report any form of abuse to the DOVVSU to make the accused persons face the full rigorous of the law.
Mrs Mercy Acquah-Hayford, the Country Coordinator of Inerela+ Ghana, explained that the engagement followed a previous meeting with the community leadership to find lasting solution to the high rate domestic violence in the community.
It was also to encourage and empower the women to report abuse cases to the Police.
She said victims of abuse were discouraged and frightened from reporting cases of domestic and sexual violence to the Police due to reverence given to their men, somehow due to suppression.
Inerela+ Ghana is a non-governmental organization that works with a network of religious leaders living with HIV that empowers themselves and others to live positively and openly as agents of hope and change in and beyond their faith communities.