Young adolescents have been advised by the Domestic Violence and Support Unit (DOVVSU) to be quick in reporting rape cases for culprits to face the law.
District Superintendent of Police (DSP) Emmanuel Holortu, Northern Regional Coordinator of DOVVSU, addressing a group of young people, said victims of rape should resort to the necessary law enforcement institutions and avoid propositions from families for settlements out of court.
The Young Voices Forum was organised by the Savannah Signatures, a youth advocacy nongovernmental organisation to discuss issues of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights.
The main discussion centred on the topic “Rape and Defilement: Why Do Families Prefer To Settle Cases at Home?”
Mr Holortu described the reasons people give for handling rape cases at family and religious levels as frivolous because such laws did not exist in the law court.
He said it was a deserving right for rape victims to report their circumstances immediately after the incident, to serve as prove to implicate rape culprits in court.
Mr Amadu Ali Mohammed, the Guidance and Counselling Officer at the Ghana Education Services in the Tamale Metropolitan, cautioned young girls, to be extra careful and avoid actions that enticed men to them, which sometimes eventually led to rape.
He advised parents to pay attention to their wards, especially those below 16 years to avoid cases of defilement which exposed young girls to Sexually Transmitted infections.
“The public too is hereby reminded that the sentence for rape is imprisonment not less than five years and minimum of seven years for Defilement and cannot be negotiated,” he emphasized.
He further explained that if a court found out that a suspect of rape had been falsely accused, the said victim would be charged by the court for deceit of public officer and be punished accordingly.