“Shame” to raise awareness of rape to support SGBV

Women in Law and Development in Africa has premiered a short film on rape to create awareness on the crime as part of their sixteen days of activism against sexual violence.

This short film titled, “Shame” was premiered to provide accountability and punishment for perpetrators, establish and prosecute to ensure justice for victims and survivors of other forms of sexual and gender base violence.

Madam Melody Darkey, National Programme Coordinator, WiLDAF Ghana, speaking at the film premiere said,Sexual (SV) Violence was highly prevalent in Ghana and that girls below 18 years were most at risk as she launched the WiLDAF Ghana Digital Legal Aid Centre.

She said the Socio-cultural and religious norms that could cause, promoted or be accepted hyper masculinity over aggressive sexual conduct on the part of boys and young men, were accepted as rape culture by the Ghanaian society.

Madam Darkey added that the norms that caused discrimination and stigmatisation against victims and survivors of SV included blaming them instead of the rapist and thus discouraging SV victims from reporting and accessing services.

She said there had been inadequacy or lack of coherent and coordinated set of essential services for victims and survivors and ineffective enforcement of laws that regulated SV and other forms of violence.

Poverty and low economic status could push some girls and young women into risky sexual behaviours which could lead to transactional sex and other situations to increase their vulnerability to SV, she said.

Madam Darkey stated sadly the victims and survivors were unable to pay for the medical report which would serve as the key evidence to corroborate SGBV in surge of rape, defilement or any other assault.

Adding that the increased number of teenage pregnancies were proxy for increased SV, particularly defilement or statutory rape- certainly for girls below 16 years.

The National Program coordinator acknowledged the financial support of the French Embassy Ghana, the WVL project in Ghana and Crossroads International for their immense support and urged stakeholders to spare a thought for the plight of victims and survivors of rape and other forms of SV for their help.

An anonymous rape victim shared her case at the premier on how she was traumatised emotionally and psychologically during her experience and how she was abandoned by her family.

She said an encounter and opportunity she had with WiLDAF and other stakeholders uplifted and made her believed that she had life again.

Source: GNA

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