The Public Relations Officer of the Central Regional Police Command, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mrs Irene Oppong, has advised children to report all forms of assault or harassment on them to the police.
She asked children not to be intimidated by adults who bullied or threatened them; rather they should gather courage and report any of those situations to a trusted adult or the police.
“The police are your friends and are always there to protect you, so do not be afraid to approach them when you are in trouble or need any help,” she stated.
ASP Oppong was speaking at an outreach programme for basic school pupils on how to stay safe during the vacation period in Cape Coast on Thursday, April 12.
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The programme which was tagged “Our Day with The Police” sensitised pupils of Jacob Wilson Sey Basic School, Bakatsir Methodist Middle School and the Police Basic School Cape Coast to what constituted child and sexual abuse, how to prevent sexual abuse and how to comport themselves during the vacation period.
ASP Oppong said the programme was aimed at reducing the rate of crime against children, adding that the number of child abuse cases was always on the rise during school vacations.
She indicated that the programme was one of the ways to reduce and find a lasting solution to the high rate of crime in the communities.
“When we give the information to parents, they feel reluctant to pass it on to their children, so we want to educate the children ourselves and help them understand the work of the police and by so doing, they will trust the police and be able to report cases,” she added.
ASP Oppong urged parents and guardians not to use the vacation period as a time to exploit their children and wards.
“If you will let your child assist you in your businesses, please make sure they do it under your supervision or a trusted adult’s supervision for their safety and to prevent them from being assaulted,” she said.
Research has shown that some schoolgirls get pregnant and/or are sexually abused when schools are on vacation, hence the need to sensitise them to how to prevent it.
Approximately six women are likely to be raped every week, six-year statistics from the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service have revealed.
In all, 30,408 assault cases were reported nationally between 2011 to 2016, with men being the least victims.