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Let us stamp out the unscrupulous and unacceptable behavior of calling older women witches – Psychological Association pleads with Ghanaians

The Ghana Psychological Association (GPA) has asked the citizenry to say “no to witchcraft accusations. ”We should stamp out this unscrupulous and unacceptable trend of behaviour,” the Association said and stated its willingness to avail counseling services to victims.

This was contained in a press statement signed by the National Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Psychological Association GPA, Mrs Joy Anima Debrah.

It said it was not enough for the Government to outlaw witch camps, “instead, we should go beyond intensive education on matters of this nature and punish perpetrators of this inhumane practice”.  The Association said it was very much interested in outcomes of the cases and called for multi-sectoral approach to handling such occurrences.

The statement called on civil society organisations to pay more attention and resources to changing harmful belief systems, which jeopardized the lives of others, adding, “We seem to forget that these old women are mothers, sisters and friends who need our love and support.

The statement said over the past few months, the Association had followed with great concern, troubling media reports of barbaric attacks on old women in the society.

The Association said belief in witchcraft was common in most African societies and Ghana was not exempted and that often, misfortune, ailments as well as mishaps were attributed to witchcraft and the engrained beliefs in ostracizing them was unlawful, outdated and derogated victims.

The Psychological Association said it “endorses more scientific and humanistic paradigms that adopt positive approaches including psychosocial counselling and strictly disapproves any unlawful and criminal behaviours hidden in cultural practices that oppress and discriminate against old women especially”.

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