The Street Children Empowerment Foundation (SCEF) has expressed worry about the rising cases of defilement and sexual violence against vulnerable girls in Ghana, especially those living in street situations.
The recent court case of James Armah, also known as Colours, highlights the challenges faced by young victims and the barriers that prevent them from accessing justice.
The case involves the sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl, whose identity we will not disclose. She lives with her family in Timber Market, Accra, and was allegedly sexually abused by James Armah, a neighbor, who gave her money in exchange. The girl was repeatedly abused, and the abuse only came to light after neighbors raised suspicions and reported the matter to the victim’s family, who then reported it to the Police DOVVSU/AR in the company of SCEF.
The court case reveals the harmful effects of defilement and sexual violence on vulnerable girls in Ghana.
Despite the efforts of SCEF and other organizations to protect children and young people, many girls continue to suffer in silence.
Their rights are violated, and they are denied access to justice because of various factors, including doubts about the victim’s age, limited knowledge about available legal remedies, and the stigma associated with reporting sexual abuse.
The case of James Armah is a reminder that we must do more to protect children and young people from sexual abuse.
We call on all key stakeholders – government agencies, NGOs, civil society organizations, the media, and the public – to work together to remove the barriers that prevent victims from accessing justice. This includes providing more information and support to victims and witnesses, adequate funding for legal aid, and improving court facts gathering to enhance the justice system.
Recent statistics indicate that defilement cases are on the rise, and this trend must be reversed.
As advocates for the rights of vulnerable children and young people, SCEF will continue to work tirelessly to promote child safeguarding and demand justice for young victims of sexual violence.
We want to thank Her Ladyship Christiana Cann for delivering a strong, fair, and just verdict of 12 years imprisonment with hard labour to James for this unspeakable act.
We are by this release calling on the general public to offer support in cash or kind to ensure that the victim and her family receive the support they need.