Sexual abuse has become a menace that the country is struggling to deal with and there are many women and men who have fallen victim to this but are unable to share their story because of the shame they feel and the stigma they will endure.
Not so for Gospel artiste, Abena Ruthy, who herself is a victim and wants to use her experience to encourage others to speak out about theirs and help authorities bring an end to it.
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Hers occurred when she was young and although it was not as brutal as others have gone through, she was still violated and the memories are still there.
“I was young. The person tried but he could not penetrate, he just ejaculated and left. I do not even remember who the person was but I still have flashes till today, so you can just imagine what others are going through,” she said.
Now that she has a platform, Abena Ruthy wants to use her voice for positivity and is taking a big step with a campaign, End Defilement, an initiative she hopes will contribute to bringing down the numbers.
For her, although some measures are being taken to end this cancer, more needs to be done, hence, her decision to start this initiative.
These things are real, they are happening, people are trying but that is not enough, we can do more and the education should not just end, it should be sustained.
“People like us should be able to use our voices to preach against things like this. My other colleagues are doing well with other initiatives like visiting the prisons and all that but we need more,” she told Showbiz.
Through her End Defilement campaign, Abena Ruthy hopes to achieve a number of things; the first is to encourage children to report men who try to lure them, then she wants victims to be bold to report culprits (sometimes they are cowed into silence through shame, threats and intimidation) and lastly to help bring to an end the many out of court settlements that allows abusers to go scot free.
As a first step, she is working on a song and a video to raise more awareness and she is hopeful of putting together a team who will be made up of medical personnel and counsellors to help victims.
She commended her colleagues who are doing things to improve society even in the face of challenges like lack of funds.
“I know some of my colleagues who do things on the quiet. The issue is that, there is no money so you are not motivated to take big steps so you have to be selfish. We need money to survive but for me, it is not about the money. I just want to contribute my quota,” she said.
Signed to Media Excel, Abena Ruthy was the administrator of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), a sister company of UniBank where she has worked for over a decade.