Girl,14, Allegedly Brutalized by 30-year-old Aunt in Ganta

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By: Nathaniel Success Topkah (Nimba Correspondent)

Sunday was a painful day for teenager Oretha Tonkah who was allegedly brutalized by her aunt, Lydia Tonkah in the Hope Village Community in Ganta.

The 14-year-old girl received deep cuts on part of her body including her face, her jaw and under her left arm after her aunt reportedly used a razor blade on her.

Oretha’s aunt has since been apprehended and is currently under police custody in Ganta undergoing investigation.

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According to the alleged perpetrator, little Oretha usually cuts her son’s hair, an act which she has warned her [Oretha] to refrain from but to no avail.

“She always cuts the boy’s hair and hides it without giving any reason,” Oretha’s aunt said.

“I have been telling Oretha that this thing you doing looking like a witchcraft practice because children been confessing on this same thing in this community,” Lydia Tonkah told journalists at the Ganta Police Depot on Monday.

However, the teenager who acknowledged cutting her little cousin’s hair, denied the allegation, adding that she only did it to help her aunt because she [her aunt] was talking about cleaning the child’s hair a moment earlier.

“I was cutting somebody’s attachment from their hair when my aunty started talking about cutting her son’s hair so I said since aunty coming cut the boy’s hair let me help her because I had a blade in my hands.

After my aunty came and saw cutting mark on the boy’s hair, she started beating on me and telling me that I’m a witch,” little Oretha said.

“First she took a knife and wanted to burst my eyes so I pushed her and ran outside, people came around to stop her from beating me. After the people left, she sent for two new razor blades and started tearing my face with it,” Oretha explained.

Oretha has been living with her aunt, a sister to her father, since 2003.

She said this was not the first time her aunt has treated her in such a manner, as her father doesn’t take any action when he is informed.

Oretha is said to be undergoing medical treatment at the expense of some good neighbors who collected money on Monday to take her to the hospital.

Child abuse and brutality against children have become the order of the day across Nimba County with scores of kids usually venturing in street selling even during school hours.

It has been predicted by the Women and Children Protection Unit it Ganta Police department that up to 75% of children selling in streets were sent to stay with people by their parents.

The police have on several occasions invited the majority of those involved with sending kids on the streets to warn them to refrain.

Last month Jenkins Mangou, the Commander of the Women and Children Protection Unit at the Ganta Police department ordered that goods of children selling in the street of Ganta should be taken from them, an exercise that brought a reduction in the number of street selling kids in Ganta.

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