The Community Development and Advocacy Centre (CODAC), in partnership with IBIS in Ghana, has sensitized chiefs, queen mothers and traditional leaders in the Upper East Region, on the Domestic Violence Act, 2007(Act 732), to empower them assist in curbing violence against women and girls in the region.
The one-day sensitization workshop was aimed at increasing the awareness of traditional authorities on the Domestic Violence law and its enforcement, solicit their support for efforts to end violence against women and children, and educating them on procedures for filling acts of gender-based violence to the appropriate authorities.
Addressing traditional leaders, chairperson of CODAC, Mr. Norbert Akolbila, bemoaned the alarming rate of domestic violence in the region, and the reluctance of reporting such cases to the police, necessitated a multi-faceted approach through working with traditional authorities.
According to the Upper East Regional Coordinator of the Domestic Violence Support Unit(DOVVSU), DSP Kwadwo Appiah, people are not willing to report domestic violence cases to his outfit and prefer treating the cases as a private affair, or an in-house matter, instead of allowing the law to take its course on perpetrators of such crimes.
Mr. Appiah noted that, spousal assault and threats, are the dominating domestic violence cases in the region.
He cited that, having only one DOVVSU office serving the entire region makes it difficult for affected domestic violence victims to report cases to the office, since the office is only close to residents of Bolgatanga, and parts of Talensi, Nabdam, Navrongo and Paga.
“…So it is a bit difficult to actually give the statistics that we have in our office to represent the whole region.”
But with funding from the United Nations Fund for Population Analysis(UFPA), two-hundred(200) police investigators in eight(8) districts have been successfully trained, and hopefully by close of this year, DOVVSU offices will commence operations in those districts.
This will allow victims to easily access and report cases to DOVVSU for urgent attention, and also to ascertain the status of Domestic violence in the region”, Appiah stated.
He appealed for a swift passage of a provision in the Act that allows generation of funds to service medical examination and other expenses of victims of domestic violence.
Paramount Chief of the Bongo traditional area, and representative of the Upper East Regional House of Chiefs, Naba Baba Salifu Alemyareem, lauded CODAC for the initiative, and reiterated the need to strike-out dehumanizing cultural practices and continuously educate people of the consequences of domestic violence.
By: Fred Awuni/citifmonline.com/Ghana