| Updated Oct 21, 2017 at 1:30pm


Obed Owusu-Kissi in an interview with GBCONLINE and Radio Ghana's George Asekere


Some newly dedicated ones being baptised as a sign of their dedication to do Jehovah's will
A Circuit Overseer Seth Hamilton in a talk on Endurance at the Convention
A speaker at the 2017 Regional Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses Obed Owusu-Kissi has called on parents to take the issue of sex abuse of children a step higher by educating them on the danger signs in relation to potential abuse. Citing available figures about abuse cases reported recently, he said this is the time to use discernment to combat this heinous practice.

Obed Kissi was speaking at Baatsonaa near Accra in a symposium on the second of the three-day convention that is drawing the attention of Christians not to give up in doing what is right in this period described as critical by the scriptures.

He stressed that as an organisation Jehovah’s Witnesses abhor all forms of abuse and take a very strong exception to child sexual abuse. This is why the organisation strongly pushes for awareness on the issue through publications and regular education. He said for parents to be on the path of caution, they should always be looking out for the danger signs and also keep close to their children and help them to appreciate what these signs are so that they do not fall into the trap of these evil practice.

Citing the scriptures to back up what he called practical action to protect children from sexual abuse, Brother Kissi said Proverbs 22:3 in the bible says the shrewd one sees the danger and acts wisely on it. This is what will enable such a person to quickly take note of potential red flags. Whilst sounding a caution that the situation does not demand being overly suspicious of others, he said Godly wisdom demands that it is important not to leave anything to chance.

Brother Kissi outlined some potential red flags that should not escape parents and guardians in protecting children against sexual abuse. He said parents and guardians should always be on the lookout for those who single out their children for special favours and gifts. Such ones may also be overly close and may even be relatives. Such relatives and familiar ones have unfettered and unsupervised access to the children they have as targets.

Obed Kissi in addition asked parents to be wary of where their wards go to without supervision. He asked parents to have an arrangement in place where their young ones can be assisted at all times. This include being aware of their use of the internet. By guiding them in how they access various sites and social media, the parents can give needed help.

He further raised issues against the tradition where parents shy away from talking about sex with their children. With such “evil times”, he cited the scripture at Deuteronomy Chapter 6 verse 7 in the bible that tells parents to inculcate in their children all the commandments of God so that it will be with them wherever they are and in their hearts. He said if spiritual training is done well, even where the parents are not present, the children will act as shrewd ones. This he said is important because parents cannot be with their children at all times.

Obed Kissi, from the scriptural perspective asked parents to frontally tackle the challenge by constantly educating their children on sex. “Sexual education should be an ongoing discussion “, he stated and asked parents “have you trained your child with the proper display of affection?” He said when comments of flattery like “you look cute” and others are said to young ones it should not go into their heads. The children should be constantly helped to make them know what makes them potential victims of sexual abuse and above all they should know the proper names of the sexual organs. Various aliases for these organs will not help them.

He also acknowledged that when training is not started early on issues of sex, children tend not to respond well initially but was quick to add “don’t give up when you introduce the subject and they shut up…let’s safeguard our young ones from evil”.

The 2017 DON’T GIVE UP CONVENTION of Jehovah’s Witnesses is taking place around the globe on the same theme with talks, interviews, multimedia and feature films that help the family to support the Christian way of life. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that when the family as a unit, act according to what God requires of them it affects the whole society positively. Yet with challenges that people are confronted with, it has become difficult to keep to the right path. For all who live now, the Convention has a package that seeks to help them in their resolve to remain upright in God’s eyes. The Convention programmes in Ghana began in August, and they are being held around the country at various locations with providing the venues and time. It is open to the general public.

Story: Kingsley Obeng-Kyereh