When the class two pupil, I choose to call Adwoa (pseudonym) decided to go for extra classes that fateful day, it was in pursuit of her academic laurels. It was that same zeal that made her agree to follow her class teacher who took her to another classroom under the guise of teaching her. But he only ended up taking away her honour and glory.
The nine-year-old girl is now unable to walk after she hit her pelvic bone against a desk when she fell off the table as she tried to flee from her class teacher who was allegedly inserting his fingers in her vagina. Adwoa fears her dream of becoming a nurse is fading as her parents race against time to raise money for her to undergo further treatment at the Winneba Hospital.
Family united in grief
I am at the Kasoa residence of the class two pupil. Parked at the front of the house of the victim is the vehicle (‘trotro’) that conveyed eight of the family members to the court hearing the case. Family members are seated discussing their next line of action. Very close to them, is the victim seated in a plastic chair, covered with a cloth. There is a pillow supporting her back with her two legs resting on a kitchen stool. As she stretches in the chair, tears begin to flow; a little girl in pain. Adwoa would muster the courage to narrate her nightmarish experience.
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“I went to school on Friday and he told us to come to classes on Saturday. I was late together with my younger sibling. There were some children writing there. He sacked all of them and told them their parents were looking for them. I told one of my friends there to wait but the teacher disagreed”, the little girl continued as tears continued to well up in her eyes.
“When I started writing, he came closer and rubbed his hands in my hair and said my father said he should provide all my needs. He put me on one of the tables and started inserting his fingers into my genitals. I fell down and later ran home with my younger sister. I was scared to tell my mum. I feel sharp pains in my pelvic area,” she added.
Adwoa is now unable to walk as a result of the injury she sustained whilst trying to flee from her teacher. Her pelvic bone hit one of the desks in the classroom. The pain was not immediate. Weeks later, it has become unbearable.
A daughter’s pain, a mother’s nightmare
Mother of the victim says her daughter complained of a headache some weeks ago but was scared to talk about the assault. She later confided in another family member.
“She complained of a headache some weeks ago but was shockingly becoming leaner by the day. She subsequently complained of pains in her legs. I asked if she fought with anyone, and whether she went to play on a seesaw? I later took her to the hospital where I was told she had been sexually abused. I asked one of my family members to interrogate her about what happened. She was scared to tell me she disclosed, she was sexually abused by her class teacher. She told my relative, she fell off a table and hit her pelvic bone against one of the chairs in the classroom as she struggled with the teacher who was inserting his finger in her genitals”.
According to the victim’s mother, the wife of the suspect has been pleading for the matter to be resolved at home. “She also promised to cater for the girl but we disagreed. When the suspect was released on bail, he came here saying he cannot explain what happened and he is begging for the issue to be resolved at home. We have been referred to the Winneba Hospital for my daughter to undergo treatment but we do not have the money”.
The Victim’s grandfather says the suspect confessed to the crime and later gave them ¢50 to cater to the girl, but denied the allegation when they reported the matter to the police. “I know the guy very well and his wife. He told me that he begs me, I should forgive him. He does not know exactly what happened to him before he did that, I said what”?
He angrily continued to say “If he is trying to deny, I will ask him a question, the money you brought to the girl’s mother, what was it for? He brought GHS50 when he was released from the police cells. She cannot sit on a chair like this. Tablet and medicine, I have bought a lot. He wants to destroy the life of the girl. I do not have money that is why I am unable to send her to the Winneba Hospital. At home at the moment, she is not getting the medical care. I do not have the money; I have spent all the money”.
When we visited the school where the incident happened, the school doors were locked as they were still on vacation. All attempts to reach the headmaster of the school proved futile. We were told the headmaster visited the home of the victim once and presented an amount of GHS50; that was the last time he visited. All attempts to get his side of the story proved futile.
Fighting to save a marriage
We moved to the home of the suspect to hear his side of the story but we were informed he was not around. I called the suspect’s wife who was with him at the time. After introducing myself and the crew, we requested to meet them; the suspect’s wife told us she cannot give us directions to their location. When I suggested we hear the suspect’s side of the story via the phone, she dropped the call and did not answer the subsequent ones.
Kasoa police busy attending to other issues
Scores of people are seated at the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service. It is a busy day and the investigator handling the case is attending to other matters. When I revealed my identity, she was blunt; she cannot provide any details revealed they have taken up the matter. She referred us to her superior who we were told was at a training programme in Accra. Our calls and text messages to her remain unanswered.
Some extracts of medical documents seen by JoyNews stated, “patient presented with inability to walk after her teacher allegedly inserted his finger in vagina. Medical examination showed a partially perforated hymen with no tears or lacerations. Patient, still unable to walk despite pain medication”. According to the statement, the victim was treated for pelvic fracture and urinary tract infections.
Family members of the girl are now racing against time to raise money for the nine-year-old girl to undergo treatment at the Winneba Hospital where she has been referred.
Call to action and support
Psychologist, Nii Nortey Duah wants government to whip institutions mandated to deal with sexual abuse into action. Speaking on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM with Daniel Dadzie, Nortey Duah urged government to put in basic measures to ensure the protection of Ghanaian children.
Meanwhile, some benevolent people have started sending their donations to the victim. A Joy FM listener wants to pay the full medical bills of the 9year old girl. The person, however, wants to remain anonymous. The host of That is my opinion; Nana Ansah Kwao has been provided details on the Super Morning Show.
Hearing for the case has been adjourned to September 12, 2018