ModernGhana logo
12.01.2007 General News

Domestic Violence - A national issue that deserves attention.

Listen to article

The women caucus in Parliament does not rest on its oars when issues affecting women and children are brought before the House.

Domestic violence is a critical matter that deserves all the attention because its negativity outweighs its positive sides if any at all.

Whereas victims of domestic violence are traumatised and have low self-esteem, depression sets in as well thereby causing the victims to be withdrawn in social circles. Due to this, he or she is labelled as an anti-social person and they also their usually poor output level at work in the long run reflects in the overall social and economic wellbeing.

Domestic violence means engaging in the following within the context of a previous or existing domestic relationship:

(a) Physical abuse

(b) Sexual abuse

(c) Economic abuse

(d) Emotional, verbal or physical etc.

Since women are perceived as the weaker sex a lot of physical abuses are metered out to them, it is very disheartening to see a husband beating his wife just because she was not able to prepare the kind of meal he requested. Sometimes, serious injuries are caused which leave scars on the beautiful woman that he married.

Sexual abuse is a very severe type of domestic violence because men do the worst things when it comes to sex.

In a programme I watched on television a month ago, a husband battered his wife just because she did not allow him to make love to her and in the process she lost an arm.

The criminalisation of domestic violence under the Criminal Code 1960 (Act 29) has its shortcomings. The Code criminalises assault and battery, incest, rape and defilement of a child of less than six years.

The code also provides for protection against customary practices which demean the quality of human life such as widowhood rites and early customary marriage.

Customary servitude and female genital mutilation are offences under the Code. Yet other areas of domestic violence are ignored in this Criminal Code.

A law is formally known as an Act of Parliament. Before any Government policy becomes law, it must first be written out as a Bill, or draft Act. Members of Parliament discuss the Bill and suggest changes in Parliament before a Bill becomes law.

A Bill has to pass through many different stages in Parliament before it can be given Presidential Assent and passed into law.

The Domestic Violence Act was earlier this year put before Parliament and it has been through the 1st Reading and is now at the 2nd Reading Stage after which it will go through the Consideration Stage.

As we all know in a society like ours, girls are trained to always be submissive to men and they grow up with that mentality which does not in any way make them feel that they can do what men do and even do those tasks better.

Domestic violence which affects mostly women and children is being given the maximum attention by this government and it should be awarded the kind of attention it deserves.

It is my greatest wish that this bill is passed into law as soon as possible since women and children suffer most when it comes to issues like this.

The nation needs women to take up leadership positions and the women can only do that when society encourages them and their rights are not trampled upon.

There is this saying that men and women are equal and if that is what it is then it should be seen as such.

Naa Okailey Tagoe

Awoshie - Accra

Join our Newsletter