Police officers with the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) in the Ashanti Region are seeking public support for a rescued child marriage victim at Adukrom in the Asokore Mampong Municipality.
According to a report filed by Citi News’ Hafiz Tijani, the DOVVSU officials said the parents of the girl wanted to use her availability during the vacation to perform the marriage ceremony.
The Ashanti Regional DOVVSU Coordinator Superintendent Suzanna Dery while narrating how the victim was rescued said: “We prepared ourselves, planned and on the day, a Saturday, we went in there and saw them cooking and dancing.”
“Knowing how such communities are, I prepared myself well with the support of the SWAT team and the anti-armed robbery team from the regional headquarters here. We moved in with two vehicles, went into the room and took the girl without anyone being bold enough to confront us because of the presence of the armed men and we whisked her to a shelter for safety,” she noted.
Spt Dery spoke about the court’s sanctions against the victim’s father and the prospective groom.
She noted: “I thought it wise proceeding to court to inform the court I needed a court order for the girl to be given boarding status at the school. That I succeeded in doing. And the girl’s father was sentenced to a fine of GH2,400 and handed over to be of good behaviour for two hears. The husband to be was also arrested he pleaded not guilty so the case is still pending in court.”
The 16-year-old girl who is a form two student of one of the senior high schools in Kumasi has since returned to school.
However, officials are appealing to the public and other benevolent organizations to assist the girl to pursue her dreams.
“Ghanaians should understand the girl’s plight and support her to continue her education. The family might not be happy with her and she herself might not be comfortable with them after this but she needs to pursue her education. So whoever is touched by this girl’s plight and ambition should support her,” said Spt Dery.
Child marriage is gradually becoming a common practice especially in some predominantly Moslem communities in Ghana.
Last year, for instance, the Upper West Regional Girls’ Education Officer at the Ghana Education Service (GES), Annacleta Viiru disclosed that no girl has ever completed the Sawoubea Junior High School (JHS) in the Wa East District since its establishment about 25 years ago, due to child marriage.
She said the highest educational level girls in the area have ever attained is JHS Two before being married off.
She lamented the worrying situation, as the girls are denied their right to education and development.
Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Committee on Gender, Children and Social Protection has assured Ghanaians of ending child marriage by 2030.