The wife of the Asantehene, Lady Julia Osei Tutu, has raised concerns over out of court settlements of cases of sexual assaults against young girls.
She has therefore urged parents of victims of sexual assaults to report such allegations to the police and demand full justice for their children at the courts.
Speaking at an outreach programme organised the Touching the Lives (TLGF) last Friday as part of activities marking this year’s Menstrual Hygiene Day, Lady Julia also entreated young girls to speak up and report to the police when they are sexually violated.
The programme, held on the “Break the silence,” was attended by female students from first and second cycle institutions from the Asokwa and Oforikrom Municipalities in the Ashanti Region
The students were educated on menstrual hygiene, as well as how to handle incidents of sexual abuse.
Lady Julia stressed the need for young girls to keep proper hygiene during the period of menstruation, adding that menstrual cycle was nothing to be shy or ashamed of, because it was part of being a woman.
She further entreated young girls not to allow the period to affect their education and advised them to support each other by sharing information on the subject.
The Head of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department of the St Dominic Hospital, Akwatia, Dr John K. Bosomtwi, shed light on some myths surrounding menstruation and debunked claims that there were specific days for every woman to go through the period
“There is no definite number of days for menstruation,” and added that “it is possible for a girl to menstruate twice in a month and for others’ cycle to run for more than a month”.
Dr Bosomtwe stressed the need for young girls to have access to education on menstruation, safe menstrual management materials, soap and water and safe menstrual management material disposal.
He further stressed the need for schools to make convenient places available to young girls to change themselves during that period of the month to ensure that menstrual cycle did not affect their education.
The Founder of TLGF, Nana AmaAdutwumwaa, said the foundation aimed to educate girls about menstrual hygiene, while supporting them with sanitary pads
“Research has shown that most girls miss school during that time of the month due to lack of access to sanitary pads and washrooms in their school to provide them with privacy to change themselves,” she said, adding that “through these public fora, the girls are educated on how they could take care of themselves and still remain in school and not drop out”.
She said the sexual abuse education was also to educate the girls that they may see to be normal but constitute sexual abuse and to protect against such sexual predators
The Volta Regional Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) EffiaTenge also spoke against sexual violence against women and urged victims to report such crimes to the police
Rape cases, according to her, were criminal offenses which should not be settled out of court and urged parents of victims to report such cases to the police for investigations and trial