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15.12.2009 Social News

Ark Foundation launches documentary on abused children

By gna
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Accra, Dec. 15, GNA - The Ark Foundation, Ghana has launched a documentary

outlining its services for abused women and children.

The documentary highlights the group's activities, projects and programmes that support

victims and survivors of sexual and gender based violence.

The foundation is an advocacy-based human rights, non-governmental, and non-profit

organisation, whose primary
purpose is to seek the protection and promotion of the human rights of women and children.

"The idea for the documentary is to bring to the attention of members of the public the

various support services, which are on offer at the Foundation and to enable them to seek

help in times of crisis. We hope
through the documentary the services of The Ark would be accessible to the general public,

especially victims and survivors of sexual and gender based violence," Mrs Angela

Dwamena-Aboagye, Executive Director of the Ark Foundation, said.

The launch brought together journalists, corporate bodies, donors and network partners to

acquaint themselves
with the work and the services of The Ark by viewing the documentary.

Mrs Dwamena-Aboagye said the Ark had for the past 10 years provided refuge and

strength through advocacy, training, public education and service delivery.

The organisation runs a shelter where women seek refuge when battered and when referred

from other agencies including the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU)

of the Ghana Police Service, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice

and the International Federation of Women Lawyers.
Beneficiaries of the shelter included spousal abuse survivors, women fleeing from harmful

traditional / religious practices such as early or forced marriage, survivors of sexual assault -

rape, defilement and incest.
Mrs Dwamena-Aboagye said although the effects of domestic violence are serious -

physically, psychologically, and economically - not many women were prepared to report

such incidents because of societal
pressures and lack of knowledge of the options opened to them.

'Most Ghanaian women prefer that their husbands and family members are not jailed, but

rather (receive) an order to stop (the perpetrators) from abusing them," she said.

A quarterly report released by the Accra office of DOVVSU showed that for the first

quarter of this year (January -March) a total of 1,332 cases were handled, compared to a total

of 1,256 cases reported in 2008.
The figure showed an increase of 76 cases.
Women continue to dominate as victims of domestic violence, even though more men try

to put bashfulness aside and report cases of their wives beating them.

Cases ranked high with a figure of 584 as at the end of March as against the 552 recorded

in 2008.
GNA

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