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14.12.2007 General News

DOVVSU records 11,471 cases in 2007

By Daily Graphic
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The Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service has recorded 11,471 cases of domestic violence nationwide this year.

The unit recorded 3,694 cases of assault, 348 cases of rape, 854 cases of threat and 489 cases of offensive conduct.

According to the officer in charge of DOVVSU, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Angela Korantemaa, the Greater Accra Region topped the number of reported cases, followed by the Ashanti and Central regions.

Ms Angela Korantemaa made this known at the opening of a 16-day seminar on activism against gender-based violence, which is on the theme, "Demanding Implementation Challenge; End Violence Against Women". The seminar is being held at the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) Hall in Accra to commemorate this year's International Human Rights Day.

The trend of frequently reported cases, including assault, rape and threats has increased since 2005, recording over 1,264 additional assault cases, 142 additional rape cases and 294 additional threat cases.

Cases of offensive conduct among the frequently reported cases recorded a decrease of 182 reported cases to signify an improvement in the conduct of offenders.

For aiding and abetting, she said all those known to have had knowledge of a violent act and not reported it would be held responsible according to the Domestic Violence Act 732.

Out of the reported cases, Ms Angela Korantemaa said only 10 cases had so far been processed for court, because of lack of credible evidence and encouraged people to report cases early to enable prosecutors to gather enough evidence against offenders.

The acting Director of the Department of Women at the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs, Mrs Francisca Pobee-Hayford, called for the intensification in the fight against stigmatisation to help liberate victims from psychological and emotional trauma.

She said the campaign began in the minds of women activists from around the world who participated in the first Women's Global Leadership Institute in the United States in 1991 as a strategy by advocates worldwide to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women.

"They envisaged that such a campaign would result in a holistic approach in ending violence against women and the dates for the campaign were internationally chosen to emphasise the link between women's rights and human rights," she said.

The President of the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Mrs Ursula Owusu, said the Domestic Violence Act (DVA) was passed because of the ineffective and inefficiency of Act 15 of the 1992 Constitution that dealt with violence against women.

She hoped that with the passage of the DVA and a draft national plan of action to implement it, offenders would be brought to book and advised the participants to be ambassadors of the law.

The chairman for the occasion and Deputy Minister for Women and Children's Affairs, Mr Daniel Dugan, cautioned women not to take advantage of the law, and recognise that men also had rights, despite being the most guilty of offences.

On child trafficking, he said he believed most women were convinced by their husbands to traffic their chil¬dren, who ended up being treated as sex objects by their foster parents.

According to research, Mr. Daniel Dugan indicated, women were guilty of the offence of female genital mutilation and called on them to be their own keeper in the implementation of the law.

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