PPAG worried over violence

BY: Mary Anane-Amponsah
A schoolchild with microphone making a comment at the programme
A schoolchild with microphone making a comment at the programme

The Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), Madam Abena Adubea Amoah, has expressed worry over the trend of violence and ritual killings perpetrated by young people in the country.

She said the increasing media reports of suicide and homicides where fathers kill their wives, children and then kill themselves or take to their heels and also where the youth are more involved in these crimes are problematic and require attention by the nation.

The nation, she said, could not get prosperous if steps were not taken to stop violence against children and young people, and called on district level authorities, chiefs, parents, the media and well-meaning Ghanaians to join forces to make the youth more responsible.

These crimes, she noted, were as a result of challenges the youth faced in several ways, including economic that continued to impact negatively on their health, mental well-being and positive development.

Positive values

Madam Amoah was speaking at the launch of Parent-Child inter-generational dialogues at New Bakpa in the Central Tongu District of the Volta Region, organised by the PPAG with support from UNFPA to promote healthy conversations between parents and their children on their sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing.

According to her, the rate of crimes especially among relations did not promote positive values that the family and home represented.

"The family and home, which is supposed to be the place of positive values socialisation, good upbringing, love and emotional support has rather become a place of torture for many of these young people, especially girls.

“Many of our children today are growing as parents, when they themselves have a lack of parental care and support, and are left confused, depressed, and are fast becoming social misfits", Mad. Adubea Amoah, said.

PPAG, she said, was therefore, seeking to join hands with communities to re-echo the critical need for stronger family relationships and social values that ensured the safety and healthy lifestyle of young people.

Negative content on TV

Madam Amoah cautioned the media to be cautious of the content churned out for consumers, and not expose young people to indecent contents that could impact them negatively, especially with issues of ritual murders and explicit sexual content.

Scenes that expose young people to violence and vulgar content at home, school or on television, she said must be avoided because they had negative lasting impact on their psychological and emotional state. 

"Please note that it is criminal to expose young people to sexually explicit content and scenes,’’ because it influences other young ones to involve themselves in those acts.

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) 2020 data according to her, revealed that over 2,000 girls were defiled by men and boys who might still be walking around in their communities freely, without anyone holding them accountable.

She questioned why the country continued to record higher numbers of adolescent and teenage pregnancies and why community leaders were not getting angry at those unfortunate developments.

"The question is, where are the parents? Where is the family? Why are our community leaders not getting angry at these unfortunate developments?" she quizzed.

PPAG Contribution

The PPAG for 54 years, she disclosed, had put up several structures, including Young and Wise Centres and clubs and created opportunities to equip, prepare and provide the appropriate platform for young people to engage in discourse and activities to promote their reproductive health.

She urged young people to take advantage of all the learning opportunities by using the right platforms such as the district and community libraries as well as youth groups to access the right information.

The Chief of Bakpa Traditional Area, Togbe Kofi Torsu, called on well-to-do community members to provide financial support and assistance to cater for the needs of children and young people in the area, saying that would reduce the rape incidents leading to high rates of teenage pregnancies.