Domestic violence in the Volta Region almost doubled from over 600 cases in 2019 to more than 1000 cases in 2020, Mrs Thywill Eyra Kpe, Volta Regional Director, Department of Gender, has disclosed.
More than 6,000 girls, in addition, got pregnant in 2020 alone, a worrying situation which she said needed concerted efforts by all to address.
Mrs Eyra Kpe made the revelation at the closing ceremony on adolescent mentorship and empowerment in Ho yesterday for 60 adolescent boys and girls selected from Central Tongu, Akatsi North, Akatsi South, South Dayi and North Dayi districts.
Organised by the Department of Gender under the auspices of the Volta Regional Coordinating Council in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) the event was aimed at developing their capacity on child protection, including adolescent pregnancy issues.
They were also taken through topics such as ‘Changes in adolescents and menstrual/personal hygiene, child marriage and the law, rights and responsibilities of adolescents and sexual and gender-based violence and how to seek redress.
Mrs Eyra Kpe explained that with the alarming data, it was important to develop the capacities of young people to enable them to impact their peers and communities positively and also challenged them to have great aspirations in life.
She noted that when a young girl got pregnant or was married off at an early age, it did not only have health, physical and psychological consequences but also truncates her education.
To break this chain, therefore, required commitment, discipline and determination on the part of every young person to excel in life.
Mrs Eyra Kpe cautioned the young adolescents on the dangers of social media, and asked them to abstain from pornography, but rather invest their energies into studies and research, stressing “remember that the surest way to protect yourself from pregnancy is to abstain from sex.”
The Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Letsa, in an address read for him called on all stakeholders to join hands in addressing child protection issues.
He reminded the children to return to their communities and educate their peers on what they had learnt.
Madam Adjoa Yenyi, Programme Specialist, UNFPA in her remarks, assured that the UNFPA would continue to support such initiatives to bring behavioural change in the youth.