2020 has not been kind to humanity and a throwback of your quote “These are not ordinary times” paints the perfect picture.
In all, you have done your part despite the difficulties to do right by your people the best you can. Decision making is hard and although measures in your regime and especially 2020 may not be 100% effective, there have been some notable ones that have aided and eased the pressures of life.
The discount on electricity and water bills stand out in the memory of Ghanaian citizens when it comes to finding a means to care about the people on our motherland. It was not easy, but you did.
Aside from this highlight, there are the daily headaches of being a President which cannot be underestimated in any way. In a year where you prepare to go to battle and make your bid to lead Ghana for a second term, the stakes could only be higher.
How do we know all of this? Pulse Ghana is an innovative media company delivering news in the digital space. As one of the biggest new media publishers in Africa, we hear the cries of many on the continent through our delivering of the news and engagement with our community.
On Monday, the daughters of your land told their stories with heavy hearts. After news broke that a 3-month-old baby had been raped, women in Ghana could not hold it back anymore but push back to see if there is hope for a fight against rape in the country. Just as in Nigeria, Ghana is no different and she should not wait for the worst.
Rape victims are always encouraged to report their cases to the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit of the Ghana Police Service. As the country fights the battle of victim shaming and the rich and powerful suppressing the rights of young women who they rape, one very key aspect of seeking justice for rape victims is overlooked: THE MEDICAL EXAMINATION BILLS.
Medical report forms are a fundamental requirement in the prosecution of defilement and rape cases as a means of gathering evidence. However, victims are the parties to handle the charges.
In an interview with the Head of Public Affairs Unit/Accra Region Mrs. Effia Tenge concerning reporting rape cases in Ghana on Tuesday, June 16, 2020, the Deputy Superintendent of Police told Pulse.com.gh that the medical bills which ranges from GH¢300 to GH¢800 has been a deterrent for some families who want to pursue justice for rape victims.
“The medical examination is not free,” Mrs Effia Tenge told Pulse.com.gh.
“You are to be examined by a public health worker. The prices range between GHC300 and GHC800. This has been one of the bane of the police. When people go and they cannot afford the medical examination they do not come back to the police.”
As more women are encouraged to be bold and make the laws of Ghana deal with their abusers, this cannot be the reason abusers get away with their alleged crime. This is same for defilement for Ghanaians below the age of 16.
READ ALSO: Pulse Editorial: As Ghanaian women raise their voices against rape, the country should listen On Saturday, May 9, 2020, Citi News Room reported a case of a sexually assaulted 12-year-old struggling to afford the GH¢800 medical forms. Despite the medical doctor indicating on the victim’s folder that there was forced penetration causing internal damages, the forms could not be endorsed because the mother of the child could not afford the GH¢800 to continue the process in an incident that happened in Tamale, the Northern Region of Ghana.
When the Domestic Violence and Victim’s Support Unit of the Ghana Police Service issues the medical form, it has to come back endorsed. Most families cannot afford this and would rather not get back to the police. Rape victims are victims. It is no fault of theirs that they were abused.
To encourage more people to report rape/defilement cases and see the process through without any hinderances of a financial burden, is it possible to scrap the medical endorsement form fees or at least take a second look at the process?
Dear His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, this is a humble plea. Hear the cries of the daughters of your land.
#PulseAgainstRape helps amplify the voices of the people helping the fight against rape.