The Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service in the Upper West Region, last year, recorded a sharp increase in defilement and abduction cases.
Figures on domestic violent crimes in the region made available to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) showed that in 2007, some 14 people were arrested for defilement, but this rose to 26 in 2008, while within the same year, 36 people had abduction cases brought against them as against 15 in 2007.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Alex Amenyah, Regional Coordinator of DOVVSU who spoke to the GNA in an interview at Wa said, rape cases however declined from seven in 2007 to four in 2008 while domestic assault cases jumped to 65 in 2008 from 40 in 2007.
He observed that figures on rape did not give a true reflection of what is usually on the ground since most victims of this high crime still refuse to report.
DSP Amenya expressed his worry about the increase in complaints of the inability of husband’s or their refusal to provide for the upkeep of their spouses and children in the region, which shot up from 40 in 2007 to 65 in 2008.
He observed that community leaders often dissuaded rape and defilement victims from reporting their cases to the police and rather preferred to settle such cases at home.
“It would however 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 or rid it off from society”, he said.
It is also believed that the people in the area have become more aware of domestic violence issues due to the series of sensitisation programmes undertaken by Plan Ghana.
The programmes, among others, encouraged victims of domestic violence to report their cases to the law enforcement agencies for redress.