ANTI-VIOLENCE SHELTER PROJECT IN GHANA
This is a project that provides shelter and conducive atmosphere for women and children who are abused sexually, emotionally / psychologically, social, physical, parental non-maintenance and religiously.
Social Workers/Counselors provide the required service to them to lessing their problems such as injuries from physical abuse and need medical aid as well as referral to the police. These services are all provided through funds raised from GlobalGiving fundraising.
Report on activities for the period July-September 2011
The project provided shelter for abused women and children and other costs e.g. (Utilities, police, security services, medical aid, communication costs, food items, toiletries, social workers follow up cost, school daily allowance and fuel for cooking).
14 Clients were provided with emergency educational support and subsistence aid; 6 women clients received capital support training on good business practices; 14 children benefited from educational support package; 5 clients were assisted with transportation and subsistence support, a discharged client aged10 clients were supported with money for their medical and other incidental expenses :8 clients ended up at the Shelter comprising of 3 children and 5 adults women and 65 clients went through the counseling process in order to recover from their trauma.
We noticed that the women who received conselling support have regained their self esteem and are now empowered to speak up for their rights and also know when and where to report cases of abuse. Families of teenaged girls, who have suffered sexual violence, including incest among others, are happy when the clients are discharged from the shelter after receiving a full range of services and care, including medical, psychological referrals and resettlement packages. The clients are able to be re-integrated into their families and society.
A client’s story
Akua (whose name is withheld) for confidentiality sake lived with the mother at sandema in the Northern Region until her mother died when she was 16 years of age. She was trafficked to Kumasi by her mother’s family members with the aim of getting married to a 60 year old man. Unfortunately Akua got married to this 60 year old man at the age of 16 years and had a child with this him.
When Akua’s father who has been separated from her mother several years ago heard this story, he quickly went to Kumasi to take Akua from that marriage to live with him in Accra. Akua came to Accra with her son to live with the father and the step-mother. Later client father and step-mother got divorce and some few months after the divorce, client’s father started harassing her sexually and even raped her four (4) consecutive times. This resulted into having a child with her own father. Two months after delivery the baby girl was diagnosed with a hole in heart, but due to financial constrain for operation and other medical expenses the baby passed away.
Akua report the rape case to her step-grandmother who further reported it to the Domestic Violence Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU), but client’s father family members retracted the case to their home town in the Northern Region to perform rituals on client, since according to their traditional custom it is a taboo for fathers to sleep with their own daughters. Client said, according to her father, if this rituals are not performed she go mad whenever she decided to have sex with another man.
The case was referred to The Ark’s Shelter for abused women and children from DOVVSU and upon counseling The Ark realized that not only has Akua been sexually abuse but also psychologically. Client was taken to the hospital for medical check up; she also received a clinical counseling from a clinical psychologist.
Akua has regained her confidence and self esteem. She has also been enrolled in a cosmetologist school learning hairdressing among others while her son with her 60 years old husband who is now 2 years old has also been enrolled in a nursing school new the shelter. Both mother and child are still at the shelter receiving all the necessary support they need while the Social Workers continue to look for a safer place to resettlement them.
This project is still in progress and the abuse women and children who are referred to the shelter are satisfied with the kind of services they received and also are fully equipped with training and enhance their knowledge about their rights and where to seek and gain social, legal and psychological benefit as well. We therefore appreciate our donors and partners for funding and being part of this project.
This question goes to our supporters: Please what do you think about Violence against women and children and how can it be dealt with effectively? Please tell us what you think about our project? Are there any ways we can work together to attract wider support? We wish to use this opportunity to thank our supporters for making this possible.