Don’t develop indifference toward rape victims – Oye Lithur

Don’t develop indifference toward rape victims – Oye Lithur

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The minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur has pleaded with the Ghanaian public not to hasten to assume a stance of apathy against victims of rape no matter how peculiar their stories may sound.

The minister who was speaking to Starr News on the sidelines of a news reporters’ workshop on ‘Eliminating Child Marriage in Ghana’, expressed concern over recent public discourse that according to her, shows a “worrying” trend of ‘sympathy fatigue’ for victims based on a few false claims.

“The public sympathy should not die down. Some of these reports may turn out to be false, but then for each false case, there are thousands and hundreds of true cases.

“Yes we’ve had certain cases over the year in Ghana and people have raised concern. At the same time for those one or two cases we should think of the women who are on daily basis truly raped. The young girls whose spaces are intruded sometimes by their fathers or brothers, uncles, by their teachers, persons, adults who are in the position of authority,” she told Starr News.

The sector minister had earlier told the reporters present at the workshop her outfit is working toward ensuring Ghana passes a victims support law to protect victims of all forms of abuse.

Minister Lithur said although it is important for a “policy or legal framework” to be established in that regard, it is also important to have society’s support and be given the benefit of doubt until the courts rule beyond all reasonable doubts, the claims are false.

“…my plea is that we shouldn’t take these matters lightly and whatever the state would have to do to ensure that, victims get the social support they need, we would do. But when we have this hue and cry, it prevents that poor young girl who has been raped from reporting.

“Even to walk up to somebody and say I’ve been raped, and ‘he took off my dress, and he took off my this, and that’, it’s even traumatizing. So for somebody to even have the courage to report it and then that person is vilified and that person is insulted, the next person would not be willing to report her case. So maximum protection should be afforded victims of rape and other sexual abuse,” the minister appealed.

Source:StarrFMonline

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