The Head of the Volta Regional Police Public Relations Unit, DSP Mrs Effia Tenge, has identified that an early detection of threats of sexual violence on children could save them from a lifetime of physical and psychological woes.
Defilement and other forms of sexual violence against children manifest with several debilitating impacts which in many cases last a lifetime.Follow @Graphicgh
DSP Mrs Tenge said current trends of sexual assault on children in the region called for their empowerment to speak out and also identify impending threats of the canker.
She said the statistics on defilement in the Volta Region from 2019 to 2021 were alarming and as such, called for a holistic approach towards stemming the canker.
The region saw a hike in cases of defilement between 2019 and 2020.
Statistics gathered from the Regional Command revealed that 335 cases of defilement were recorded between 2019 and 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic while 108 reported cases have been recorded so far in 2021.
Mrs Tenge said the trend, thus, required urgent steps, especially with the Yuletide approaching to ensure that children were emboldened in taking preventive measures.
Mrs Tenge is, therefore, embarking on a series of educational programmes in schools acrosss the region to sensitise children against defilement.
She said "the post-trauma effects of defilement affects the victims physically, emotionally, mentally and in other diverse ways from childhood into adulthood."
The initiative, which is under the Public Affairs Unit's child-friendly policing programme, is expected to conscientise children in identifying the various forms of threats, which lead to defilement and other forms of sexual violence.
Mrs Tenge said it, therefore, behoved society to change the norms when it came to topics on sex, saying that parents must not shy away from teaching their children about the private parts rather than demonising them, since children felt uneasy with such topics.
She said the victims, due to that phenomenon in most cases, did not speak out and suffered in silence.
Mrs Tenge said the situation had rather emboldened perpetrators to molest their victims and further sealed their nefarious acts with threats of death.
DSP Effia Tenge, during a sensitisation exercise at the Treasures Christian School in Ho, however, advised children to disregard the threats, which she described as falsehoods and further urged them to scream or speak out when such perpetrators touched them inappropriately.
She also conscientised them against entering into strangers' rooms or accepting gifts from them without parental approval, and further urged them not to allow their nude photos to be taken.
The school pupils of the Treasures Christian School who participated fully in the sensitisation session, asked several questions to satisfy their curiosity.
The session was also used to demonstrate the usage of some police gears.
The Proprietor of the school, Mrs Irene Anumah, said as educators, their roles in moulding the pupils in developing their cognitive and learning abilities directly impacted their development by laying a solid foundation for their future aspirations.
She said the school's mission was to ensure that children exhibited Christlike personalities.
Mrs Anumah urged parents to play complementary roles in protecting their children from predators, especially during the holidays.