The Street Children Empowerment Foundation (SCEF) has expressed concern over the rising cases of defilement and sexual abuse, especially against street-connected girls in Ghana.
It called on stakeholders namely government agencies, non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations, the media and public-spirited persons to work together to help remove the barriers that prevent victims from accessing justice.
The statement, by Ms Magdalena Wolter and Ms Ophelia Allotey of SCEF and copied the Ghana News Agency, said despite the efforts by the organisation and others to protect children and young people, many girls continued to suffer in silence.
“Their rights are violated, and they are denied access to justice because of various factors, including doubts about the victim’s age, limited knowledge about available legal remedies, and the stigma associated with reporting sexual abuse,” it stated.
The statement cited the recent case of James Armah, also known as ‘Colour’ who was sentenced for sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl, who lives with the family at Timber Market in Accra and gave her money in exchange.
The matter came to light after neighbours raised suspicions and reported the matter to the victim’s family, who then reported it to the Police DOVVSU of Accra in the company of SCEF.
“This case is a reminder that we must do more to protect children and young vulnerable people from sexual abuse. This include providing more information and support to victims and witnesses, adequate funding for legal aid, and improving court facts gathering to enhance the justice systems,” it said.
“As advocates for the rights of vulnerable children and young people, SCEF will continue to work tirelessly to promote child safeguarding and demand justice for young victims of sexual violence.
“We want to thank Her Ladyship Christiana Cann for delivering a strong, fair and just verdict of 12 years imprisonment with hard labour to James for this unspeakable act. We are by this release calling on the public to offer support in cash or kind to ensure that the victim and her family receive the support they need,” the statement appealed.
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