The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has organised a community sensitisation programme on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence for Ivorian refugees and Ghanaians.
The programme, held at Egyeikrom in the Central Region, was to educate the participants on how to fight violence against women and children in all situations especially, among populations in crisis.
Ms Bridget Asiamah, National Programme Analyst on Reproductive Health and Humanitarian Assistance, urged security personnel to respond to requests to offer assistance to victims to escape abuses and offer them protection, even when the incidents were reported by others.
She advised them to interview the parties involved and witnesses very well before processing the cases for prosecution, and assist victims to access medical treatment when necessary.
Ms Asiamah said it was the duty of the Police to advise victims to maintain the evidence of abuse and educate them about their rights and services available.
Madam Hilda Akarimanga, Deputy Coordinator of Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU), advised Police man and women not to demand money from victims when working on their behalf.
She urged the Police to treat victims, complainants and their families with respect and courtesy and take statements in a professional manner.
Madam Akarimanga, said: “It is the duty of the Police, community leaders, teachers, NGOs, parents and pastors to advise people on violence prevention in schools, churches, markets and other public places.
“ Additionally, they should advise victims not to take their bath after being raped or defiled but report the crime as soon as possible to the nearest Police Station to preserve the evidence for the culprit to be arrested and prosecuted.”
She stated that DOVVSU was interested in enforcing the law and protecting the community against violence but not making criminals out of victims or witnesses.