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04.06.2004 General News

WAJU records 1,756 defilement cases in five years

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Accra, June 4, GNA - Men defiled 1,756 children aged between two years and 15 years from 1999 to May 2004, Ms Esther Appiah, Commander in Charge of the Women and Juvenile Unit of the Ghana Police Service, told the Ghana News Agency on Friday.

Ms Appiah, who was speaking in an interview, said 397 girls aged 16 years and above were raped while 44 incestuous relationships were reported during the period.

She said the Unit recorded 4,004 assault cases, making it the most frequently reported form of domestic violence.

She said this was followed by a total of 1,340 threatening cases. Indecent assault cases were 193, causing damage 128 and causing harm, 98. Men were the accused persons in all the case.

She, however, said that from the year 2000 the Unit recorded six cases in which women were convicted for causing various forms of violence at home.

Ms Appiah cautioned women, who felt they were stronger than their husbands and could assault them, to stop such acts because they could be prosecuted.

"The law is no respecter of persons, it is not for women alone, it is there to protect everyone", she said.

Ms Appiah said some men reported their wives for assaulting them but most of such cases were not recorded because they did not want the women to be prosecuted but to be advised.

She said the women often blamed their husbands for being the ones, who triggered the violence, adding that the women became violent and beat up their husbands only after long periods of provocation. Ms Appiah said the problem of forced marriages was very common in the Northern Region, and that pupil as young as 12 years could sometimes be forced into marriages, which was illegal.

She said the Southern part of the country was also noted for sexual abuse, rape and defilement. 4 June 04

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