Gender Director raises red flags of gender-based violence

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Gender violence

The Department of Gender under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in the Eastern Region has advised women to pay close attention to red flags of gender-based violence to help contain abuse.

Ms Juliet Abbeyquaye, Director of the Department of Gender in the Eastern Region, said red flags were early warning signs that alerted a person of an unhealthy relationship.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency on this year’s 16 days of activism against gender-based violence in Koforidua, she called for an end to gender-based violence against women.

As Ghana joins the commemoration of the world wide 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, she said highlighting the red flags as key indicators of possible abuse in relationships or marriages must not be ignored.

The 16 days of activism against gender-based violence begins on November 25 for the elimination of violence against women, and it runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.

The 2021 international day is on the theme: “Orange the World; End Violence against Women.”

It calls on people everywhere to wear the colour orange and take action to end violence against women and girls in every community, at home, in public spaces, in schools and workplaces, during conflict, and in times of peace.

Studies show that in spousal abuse, mostly in Ghana, the perpetrator is always seen trying to dominate the other by putting the victim down, controlling who the victim sees and where they go or what they do.

The signs of abuse in a spousal relationship may also include keeping or discouraging the victim from seeing friends or families, and perpetrators tend to always insist on making decisions for their victims.

Ms Abbeyquaye noted poverty, fear of society, and ignorance of abuse were some of the factors that stirred physical and emotional abuse in relationships.

Ms Abbeyquaye called for the need to intensify sensitization of gender-based violence this year in the Eastern Region as directed by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to educate women on preventive measures.

The Gender Department intends to reach out to schools, religious and women groups to educate them on preventive measures of gender-based violence.

The Department encouraged victims of abuse to always report to authorities and appropriate quarters for help for the arrest of perpetrators for prosecution.

Ms Patience Agyare, a young lady in her late 30s who has been in an abusive relationship over the past 15 years, said she saw some of the red flags but ignored them because she thought her partner would change.

She said it was important to pay attention to the petty things a spouse does to suppress the other in a relationship in order not to experience the dangers it brings.

Research indicates that just a few victims of abuse muster the courage to report cases to authorities for fear of being ridiculed or stigmatized by society.

Most victims who choose to stay in abusive relationships either endure psychological trauma for the rest of their lives or end up losing their lives.

Mrs Dinah Lomotey, a young lady in her mid-50s, who has been married for 30 years, explained that, “some see the red flags as a normal flow of things.”

“Some women have accepted abuse as a part of marriage. They may have witnessed a series of spousal abuse in their childhood; therefore, they see abuse as normal,” she added.

She also said most perpetrators abused their partners due to their psychological make-up while others tend to take pleasure in seeing someone in pain.

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