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General News of Sunday, 22 September 2019

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Justice of rape victim in limbo as family struggles to produce GHC500 for medical report

Family of an 18-year-old girl who was allegedly raped in Aflao says they are struggling to raise ¢500 required by the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, to prepare a medical report.

Without a medical report, the state cannot prosecute the alleged perpetrators, two self-styled pastors who reportedly kidnapped Precious (not her real name) in April 2019 and continuously raped her for four months.

She was forced to abort a pregnancy during the ordeal at the hands of George Andrews and Maxwell Peter, the two Nigerians who demanded a ransom before her release.

The family told JoyNews, they have spent close to ¢4,000 seeking medical attention at hospitals in Akatsi in the Volta Region and Korle-Bu since she was rescued on August 8, 2019.

Medical care for such victims of domestic abuse is expected to be borne by the state, with the establishment of the Domestic Violence Support Fund. This obligation on the state was confirmed by the Supreme Court decision in a suit brought by a legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu.

But for Precious’ family, help is yet to come from state institutions mandated to offer such assistance.

Women Advocacy group, Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF), has called the lack of care by the state unacceptable. The Keta circuit court has already adjourned the case twice, with the suspects expected to reappear on September 26, 2019.

A team of private psychologists and psychiatrists, led by Rev. Father Anthony Amponsah is offering psychological therapy to the victim, free of charge after she threatened to take her own life.

Authorities at Korle-Bu would not speak on record but told JoyNews Komla Adom, the fee is mandatory. It is paid to the consultants who prepare the report, he was told.

If the family is unable to secure the medical report, their pursuit of justice will be impaired as the traumatised teenager continues to struggle.