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As part of measures to deal with issues relating to sexual offenses against children, which has been on the increase in recent times, Child Rights International (CRI), a Non-Governmental Agency has launched a campaign dubbed “Say it”.
The initiative which comes following recent media reports on the surge in student -teacher relationships and children -relative sexual relationships is aimed at giving victims the platform to boldly speak about the harassment they face in their schools, homes, communities, among others.
Addressing the media in Accra on Wednesday February 28, 2018, the executive Director of the organization Bright Appiah, said it is alarming to know that most perpetrators of sexual abuse are not strangers, rather people who are often known to the children and live in their immediate environments. He said children who are sexually abused may lack confidence and may be withdrawn and might harbour a sense of worthlessness which will be a hinder to their development in the future.
He said the campaign is to encourage children who have been through or are still going through sexual harassment with family members, teachers or even strangers to report the incident in order to receive assistance.
The initiative which targets children below the age of 18 in both rural and urban areas has four mediums through children victims can reach out to. These include a 24/7 WhatsApp platform (0560-124001) to assist children and get them into contact with appropriate institutions that can get them out of the situation. The other platforms are the Facebook page (child rights international), email address email@example.com)
and the SMS platform.
He called on the media to report ethically on sexual abuse and molestation cases in order not to scare children into silence due to the fear of victimization. He added that privacy of children must not be abused further in reporting on these atrocities against them.
Also, the social safety net for the children with regards to punishing persons who perpetrate actions against them must be strengthened to serve as deterrent to others.
Meanwhile, ghananewsonline.com.gh has learnt that within a space of 4 years 5,752 cases relating to sexual abuse against children have been reported in Ghana while several others have never been brought to the attention of authorities.
Source: Theresa Adezewaa Ayittey
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