The Police have arrested a 49-year-old man for defiling a 14-year-old Junior High School student at Koforidua Zongo in the Eastern Region.
The suspect, Musah Ajeymah, a butcher married with three children allegedly lured his victim who is a friend of his children ostensibly to make her run an errand for him.
Reports stated that the culprit forcefully pushed her into his room and violently defiled her.
The victim of defilement reported the incident to her father which led to the arrest of Musah Ajeymah.
The father of the victim wants an end to the era where rape and defilement cases are handled outside the courts in various traditional communities.
DOVVSU statistics on defilement cases
Statistics available at the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service indicate that cases of child sexual abuse appear to be under-reported considering the number of girls between the ages of 12 and 16 years who get pregnant.
According to the Criminal Offences Act 1960 (Act 29) Section 101 on sexual and gender-based violence, any sexual encounter with any child under 16 years, with or without the child’s consent, is a case of defilement.
It is a criminal offense and culprits are liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than seven years or not more than 25 years. Yet, only a fraction of recorded teenage pregnancy cases is pursued as sexual violations against a minor.
Teenage pregnancies and sexual abuse cases are recorded at health facilities and with the Police.
Statistics from the Ghana Health Service District Health Information Management System (DHIMS) indicate that in 2020 for instance, Ghana recorded a total of 109,888 teenage pregnancies across the 16 administrative regions of Ghana.
Between 2016 and 2020, slightly more than half a million (555,575) teenagers aged 10-19 years got pregnant, and records show that in the five years, 13,444 teenagers between the ages of 10 and 14 years got pregnant.
The annual breakdown of pregnancies involving 10 to 14-year-olds in 2016 shows 2,325 cases, while statistics from DOVVSU show that 1,341 defilement cases were reported.
In 2017, when there were 2,585 cases of pregnancy involving 10 to 14-year-olds, 1,686 defilement cases were reported.
There were 2,968 cases of pregnancy in 2018, and 2,110 cases in 2019, but the defilement cases for the two years were not provided.
In 2020 when there were 2,865 pregnancy cases in girls aged 10 to 14 years, 1,047 cases of defilement were reported.
The number of pregnant girls aged 10 to 14 years is an indicator of defilement, yet, there is a huge gap between recorded cases of adolescent pregnancy in girls aged below 16 years and reported defilement cases.