A British-Ghanaian actor is taking on Ghana’s current policy surrounding investigations into sexual assault cases.
Ama K Abebrese is calling on the Ghanaian government to abolish a policy which requires sexual assault victims pay 300-800 GHS (£40-108) before they undergo medical examinations.
Under Ghana’s current policy, a victim would have to obtain the medical report from a doctor before the police can begin investigations into sexual assault cases.
Ms Abebrese said: “Nobody should have to go through the traumatic experience of the crime of rape and or sexual assault in the first place and the medical examination fees is a stumbling block in the pursuit of justice for victims, their families and supporters.
“I have connected with some victims of sexual assault who are cheering on this campaign.
“They are hoping that if the government does abolish the fees, it would be a deterrent and hopefully more cases can be prosecuted.”
According to Ms Abebrese, the fees are sometimes equivalent to a person’s monthly salary in Ghana.
Ms Abebrese says the campaign has resulted in a meeting with the First Lady of Ghana, Rebecca Akuffo-Addo, on July 20, who informed her the president, Nana Akuffo-Addo has been made aware of the campaign and is looking into the case.
A meeting with the minister of gender, children and social protection has also taken place with the assurance the matter is being worked on, according to Ms Abebrese.
She adds: “I’m just very adamant that when it comes to anything linking politics, they can say it, but for me and everyone who signed the petition, we want to see action.
“I would like to certainly think that the government will listen and abolish these fees.”
A petition started by Ms Abebrese has gained more than 15,000 signatures and can be found here.
Ms Abebrese is known for highlighting societal issues through her work, with her 2010 movie, Sinking Sands highlighting domestic abuse, a performance which earned her the 2011 African Academy Movie Award for best actress.