Opinion: The cruelty of rape and defilement–are we safe?

By Jennifer Akromah

Yesterday, it happened to Ama. Today, it was Akosua. When does it end? And who takes responsibility? It is traumatizing, waking up daily to the news of another rape or defilement case in our country—our mother Ghana!

Sadly, the rate at which the incidents emerge is petrifying, and yet we tout ourselves as a nation of peace. Imagine the irony! What is even more fascinating is the rate at which ‘gang rape’ is taking over.

Rape, according to the English dictionary, is the abduction of a woman for sexual purposes. When it involves a minor, it becomes Defilement; and when it is committed by more than one person, it becomes ‘Gang rape’. In Ghana, a minor is someone below the age of eighteen (18). My question is, why are rape and defilement cases frequent these days? What are our Judiciary and other stakeholders doing about it?

Unfortunately, most perpetrators of such crimes are older folks who should know better. A recent rape incident is the ‘Bantama gang rape’ case. Most often, perpetrators go unpunished or freed without proper punishment, and so people keep committing the same crime. Has any of such cases been debated in parliament? What are the President and the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection saying about it? What is your own take on such cases?

Let’s all join hands and fight Rape. One individual cannot do it alone, but we can do it as a nation by strengthening the fight against it. If these perpetrators are arrested, prosecuted and severely punished, I think it will be a deterrent to others. Also, chiefs, queens and elders of our communities must stop protecting perpetrators and bring them to face the law since we are all under the law.

One thing that needs checking is the parading of nude pictures on social media. People now rise to the status of ‘celebrity’ by posting pictures of their naked selves on the internet. I ask again, what is happening? Is our beloved country glorifying ‘immorality’? Sorry for the choice of words, but it pricks the emotion.

There are so many media platforms in Ghana, both FM and TV; what roles are we playing in the prevention of these things? Unfortunately, when such cases surface, we see nice captions while only few take special interest in following the story until perpetrators are punished. The most worrying aspect is when some people try to politicize it. They either blame the ruling party or the opposition.

We need to find permanent solutions. Let’s give longer prison sentences to perpetrators. Let’s ban posting of nudes on social media. Let’s do intensive sex education; if possible, include it in the curriculum of our basic schools. Finally, let’s avoid politicizing everything in Ghana and face the reality. Say NO to Rape and Defilement. It is a crime that needs to be punished.

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