The South African High Commissioner to Ghana, Ms Grace Jeanette Mason, has entreated women never to accept abuse of any form in any relationship as normal.
“Don’t stay in an abusive relationship, and for whatever reasons you find yourself in relationships. For love, for whatever reason.
“You need to stand up for yourself and don’t allow yourself to be abused, don’t let your body be abused because your body is God’s temple,” she said.
The High Commissioner gave the advice in an interview with the media on the side-line of a Mothers’ Day event, to celebrate surviving women of domestic violence, in Accra.
Organized by Vodafone Ghana in partnership with The Ark Foundation and Stanbic Bank, the event also, was to raise funds to support the Foundation and create awareness of domestic violence against women and children.
It was supported by the South Africa High Commission in Ghana.
Statistics available at the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service indicate that 1,047 girls were defiled, while 305 women were raped in 2020.
Also, about 1,500 cases of violence against women are reported to law enforcement agencies annually.
Ms Mason said no woman should trade their safety and dignity for any reason in an abusive relationship, be it for love, or cultural and societal norms, among others.
She called out abusive men as persons who had low self-esteem.
“Those men that are abusive, can you be confident enough and deal with your insecurities and low self-esteem?” she quizzed.
Ms Mason added: “Mothers give birth to you so the woman that you have in your life, whether in a relationship or marriage, is the same woman that has given birth to you.”
The High Commissioner encouraged continued education to disabuse the minds of victims of domestic violence, that it was alright to stay in such relationships, adding that the Commission would work with Government to formulate policies and programmes, to help combat the menace.
Ms Hannah Ashiokai Akrong, Human Relations Director at Vodafone Ghana, noted that violence against women was still on the rise, adding that it remained one of the most widespread, persistent, and devastating human rights violations in the world today.
She explained that such a phenomenon had the potential of retarding world growth, particularly in Ghana.
“No nation can hope to move forward if its women and children are trapped in an endless cycle of emotional and physical abuse,” she said.
Ms Akrong commended The Ark Foundation for providing a safe haven for survivors of domestic violence to enable them to live a decent life.
Nana Amaris Perbi, Country Lead of Vodafone Ghana Foundation, said celebrating mothers formed an integral part of the activities of the foundation.
He added that celebrating women, especially those who had survived domestic abuse was imperative since it offered them comfort.
He assured of Vodafone Ghana Foundation’s support to The Ark Foundation to enable it to function properly and serve more survivors.
Dr Angelina Dwamena-Aboagye, Executive Director, The Ark Foundation Ghana, appealed to benevolent individuals, groups, and corporate organisations to support the foundation to continue to support women and children, who are in desperate need.