Gender-based violence: Stigmatizing victims triggers suicidal thoughts – Activists warn

Gender based CSOs are concerned that victims of gender based violence are still being stigmatized compelling victims to choose suffering in silence than reporting their cases for help.

Speaking at a Gender Based Violence workshop organized by the European Union’s funded NBU Project, the founder of Women’s Haven Africa, Adowa Fosua Owusu, warned that until society does away with cultural stereotypes, victims will continue to die in their silence.

She disclosed, “we realized that women and men are going through various forms of abuse in their home, communities and countries and most of them cannot talk about it because of our cultural perception and what happens is that people go through this abuse, try to commit suicide and some even die at the end.”

From a survey by the Women, Peace and Security Institute of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Center, women and girls are the most vulnerable sufferers of Gender Based Violence.

In 2014, the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit of the Ghana Police Service (DOVVSU) reported a total of 17,655 domestic violence cases, 1296 cases of defilement and 335 rape cases.

Founder of Rural Girls Empowerment Amdiya Abdul Latif said victims of Gender Based Violence usually impede the work of activists.

She told Ultimate News’ Salimatu Hawini, “Normally when they report the cases, these same victims show lack of interest during court proceedings. It is either they have opted for out of court settlement or they have been finally talked to, to stay away from the court system.”

Ashanti Regional Clinical Psychologist Dr. Maame Yaa Konadu indicated that men appear to be the missing link in telling the true picture about gender based violence.

She challenged men facing abuse to be bold in reporting their cases for help.

The workshop brought together several CSOs, NGOs, and representatives of the Asokore Mampong Municipal Assembly to forge a united front to stand up for victims or survivors of gender based violence.

Source: Salimatu Hawini


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