The Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service in the Upper West Region, recorded a sharp increase in defilement and abduction cases last year.
Statistics made available to the Ghana News Agency at Wa on Thursday showed that in 2007, 14 people were arrested for defilement of minors, but this figure rose to 26 last year, while 36 abduction cases were reported to the Unit in 2008 as against 15 in 2007.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Alex Amenyah, the Regional Coordinator of the Unit, attributed the increase, to the cases being reported as compared to previous years, due to community sensitization programmes undertaken with the support of Plan Ghana.
According to DSP Amenyah, another area of great worry in the region has been the large number of complaints regarding the inability or refusal of husbands to provide for the upkeep of spouses and their children.
This type of cases shot up from 40 in 2007 to 65 in 2008, while rape cases saw a decline from seven cases in 2007 to four in 2008. The statistics showed that domestic assault cases also jumped to 65 in 2008 from 40 in 2007.
DSP Amenyah however noted that figures on rape did not give a true reflection on the normal trend on the ground since most victims refuse to report such cases to the police.
According to him, it has been observed that community leaders often dissuade rape and defilement victims from reporting to the police, knowing that the law courts usually take a very serious view of such crimes.
He however stated that it would be in the interest of victims and the society in general, if such cases are reported for the appropriate legal measures to be taken in order to minimize such crimes or rid the society of them altogether.