Tamale, April 26, GNA – Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Emmanuel Coudjoe Holortu, Northern Regional Coordinator of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) has expressed worry that his outfit have limited offices nationwide to make its functions effective.
He said the DOVVSU was constrained in the region with only five offices, saying: “This does not ensure effective implementation of Act 732 of the domestic law”.
ASP Holortu who was addressing an engagement meeting with young girls in Tamale on Thursday said even though the Domestic Violence Act was passed in 2007, the Ghana Police Service was still constrained in setting up offices to make the legislation effective.
The two-day engagement meeting was aimed at educating the participants about their rights and responsibilities under the Domestic Violence Law and was organised by Urban Agriculture Network (URBANET) in collaboration with ActionAid, both NGOs.
ASP Holortu said lack of knowledge of the domestic violence law among police officers and the inability of victims to cooperate effectively with investigations were chief factors affecting the effective implementation of the Act.
He said constant interference in cases by politicians and opinion leaders was also hampering the effectiveness of DOVVSU to do an independent job.
ASP Holortu appealed to the media to accurately report on cases of domestic violence and not to sensationalise them.
The Coordinator however said reported cases of domestic violence in the Tamale Metropolis were reducing. He did not give figures.
Mr Zakaria Abdul-Rashid, Programme Coordinator of URBANET observed that domestic violence was a common phenomenon the north; a situation which, he said was higher with both men and women being either victims or perpetrators.
He said the passage of the Domestic Violence Act was very laudable but urged the Government to institute mechanisms for the effective implementation of the Act through Legislative Instruments.
Mr Abdul-Rashid also called for appropriate training of all service providers, cross-agency coordination with adequate budgets for the protection of the rights of the vulnerable.
Miss Nassam Hawa, a student who participated in the meeting expressed worry that the phenomenon of teachers demanding for sex from female students as condition of awarding them grades was assuming alarming proportion in most schools, stressing that some of her colleagues have been victims.
She ruled out the effectiveness of the police to deal with such cases indicating that “there are usually no channels of reporting such cases and if you do, the police do not act on it'.