Stop abusing girls under Pretext of showing love

 Stop abusing girls under Pretext of showing love

Ms Juliana Abbeyquaye

 The Acting Eastern Re­gional Director of the Department of Gender, Ms Juliana Abbeyquaye has advised the youth, especially young girls not to allow them­selves to be sexually abused in the name of being shown love.

According to her, many of them were being sexually abused under the pretext of being shown love by their perpetrators who violently attack them.

She indicated that “the society we live in has creat­ed a perception that when someone shows an act of love or gives you a gift, you must also return the gesture. This has led to many young children, especially young girls allowing themselves to be abused by their perpetra­tors.”

Ms Abbeyquaye gave the advice in an exclusive inter­view after a National Youth Dialogue organised by the Planned Parenthood Associa­tion of Ghana (PPAG) through its youth wing, Youth Action Movement (YAM) in Koforidua.

The dialogue on the theme: “ Promoting Gender Equali­ty: Mobilising Youth Against Sexual Gender Based Vio­lence (SGBV) in Communities, brought together stakehold­ers, policy makers, duty bear­ers, traditional and religious leaders and youth together.

It was aimed to empower young people to take a stand against Sexually Gender- Based Violence in society.

It was also purposed to create a platform to delib­erate on SGBV issues and the way forward as a country to eliminate its practices.

Ms Abbeyquaye reiterat­ed the need to educate the youth, especially young girls to be aware of their rights and sgbvs and be able to de­tect whether they were being sexually abused or not.

“Most girls do not know about sgbvs and it has been the reason why a lot of them have been abused because their perpetrators make them feel they love them and have to beat or rape them as a sign of love,” she stated.

She added “the fact that you are in a relationship with someone and you buy things for the person, does not mean you should abuse the person. We have to create awareness on the fact that someone does not have to abuse you because he or she gives you a gift.”

Ms Abbeyquaye indicated that SGBV were not taught enough “and this explains how a boy can just hit a girl’s buttocks and go free.”

She said such acts were abuses and stated that cre­ating awareness among the youth, especially young girls, would empower them to stand up for themselves and be assertive as well as speak up when they are engaged in such abuses.

That, she said would help to reduce the high number of cases on SGBV in communi­ties in the country, especially when Ghana was slated to end SGBV by 2030.

She stated the need for all stakeholders to build synergies and put in more efforts and logistics to create awareness among the youth and community members to reduce the number of cases on SGBV in the country.

For her part, the Focal Gender Person for PPAG, Ms Naadu Adico urged stakehold­ers to use social media to drive social change and end sgbvs in an effort to create awareness on the issue.

She said the social media platform has broken the bureaucracy to reach duty bearers and has made it possible to break the silence and share experiences as well as find solidarity for victims of SGBV.

She said through social media, a lot of people have received justice for the less privileged by enabling or am­plifying their voices to seek for change.

She called on stakeholders to create more awareness among the youth and commu­nity members and guide them to use social media to prop­agate issues of SGBV issues, while respecting community guidelines and not infringing on other people’s rights.

A pupil of Nana Kwaku Boateng Basic School, Ben­edicta Takyi for her part, explained that the dialogue has increased her knowledge on the subject matter, adding that previously she thought some abuses were normal.

 From Ama Tekyiwaa Ampadu Agyeman, Koforidua

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