On the 24th of September 2018, AmaCares a London based sexual abuse advocacy organisation in collaboration with Lokhanda Ghana’s pre-eminent and one of Africa’s leading self-defence organization empowered female students of Ideal College against Sexual Abuse.
AmaCares, founded by Miss Benedicta Batcho a UK based entrepreneur and a philanthropist, is an NGO that advocates against sexual abuse with the aim to provide a platform for young women in Ghana and Africa to have a voice and speak out about their experiences.
The 2 regional Awareness and Prevention project, which commenced on the 24th –25th of September saw hundreds of young female students of Ideal College Takoradi (Class 6-JHS 3) and Kumasi (SHS 1-3) undergo rigorous educational seminars and training workshops.
This was to create more awareness involving officers from the Domestic Violence & Victim Support Unit – (DOVVSU), Doctors and Self-Defense Coaches to provide tools to prevent or survive awkward situations.
During the workshop, students were made to understand the various types of sexual abuse and its effects and were also encouraged to be confident, responsible and extremely conscious of where, when and whom they find themselves with.
Officers from the DOVVSU department in the persons of ASP Immaculate Obidiaba (Kumasi) and Regional Commander Frank Asomani (Takoradi) thoroughly explained the role of the police force and their readiness to assist any student however way possible to deal and bring any suspect behind bars.
They also encouraged students to be quick in reporting to the police force anytime they sense any form of abuse either by family relatives, teachers, students or strangers.
They further provided their personal contacts including the 191 toll-free number for any assistance should the need be and also cautioned students not to wash down or clean themselves if they experience any form of sexual abuse being it rape or defilement. But rather quickly report to the police and the hospital for easy retrieval of evidence and also prevent future health problems.
In order to set and enforce healthy boundaries, Mr Lord Kwadjo Andoh Head Coach and Executive Director of Lokhanda Self-defense took participants through role plays and practical prevention skills to increase their sense of personal power and to help defend their rights and fulfil their full potential.
The training saw students practising positive communication skills, palms, elbows, knees, kicks and everyday materials to defend against various attacks if avoidance is not possible.
Dr Ebenezer Kofi Frimpong Manso added that the effects victims or survivors go through is only about 30 per cent physical but 70 percent behavioral or psychological, including “Distrust of others and themselves, Terror and anxiety, Shame, guilt and self-hatred, Drug and alcohol use, addiction, Mental illness and suicide which is life-threatening” and very devastating in such cases.
Mrs Dr Diana K Amoabeng also explained the process and roles of the hospital and medical practitioners over cases of Abuse and also advised students to stay away from any unhealthy relationship which gets them sexually active and may lead to several health problems such as contracting STI, STDs, teenage pregnancy and others.
The programme ended with an outstanding remark from the Head Masters, Mr Emmanuel Essibu (Kumasi) and Mr Maxwell Essibu (Takoradi) after receiving Citations and educational Mantras from AmaCares to be strategically fixed on their school walls to constantly prompt and create more awareness amongst students.
They further advised students to heed to lessons and training administered to them in order to secure a successful future.
Speaking in an interview with Miss Benedicta Batcho, she was grateful to the Almighty God for a successful project and stated that been a victim herself to such an under-reported plight she deems it an opportunity to come back to her motherland, Ghana after several years to help contribute to the ending of such a menace and calls on Government and all stakeholders to help rally against child sexual abuse in Ghana and Africa.
She further thanked Dr Joseph K. Essibu founder and Proprietor of Ideal College for giving her the opportunity and partnering with AmaCares back in the UK after their first meeting.
Miss Benedicta said kudos to all her team members especially to her partner Mr Lord Kwadjo Andoh, not forgetting David Dodd, Reuben Wallace and Lolek for their ceaseless hardworking contribution to making this project a success.