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23.10.2003 Regional News

Public urged to report domestic violence cases to the police

By GNA
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Tamale, October 23, GNA - The Northern Regional Police Commander, Mr George Opong Asante, has urged members of the Women and Juvenile Unit (WAJU) of the Ghana Police to adopt strategies that would encourage the public to report domestic violence for assistance.

He noted that very often cases of domestic violence have been treated as minor cases for reasons of maintaining the sanctity of marriages or protecting social status of family members.

Mr Asante was speaking at a day's training workshop organised for 14 Police Investigators of Sexual Crime drawn from the Tamale Metropolis, Yendi, Damongo and Gambaga units of WAJU in the region.

The workshop was to sharpen the skills of the investigators in the areas of domestic violence, the rights of women and children as well as raise the sensibilities of the police to appreciate that domestic violence is a crime.

Mr Asante, who is also an Assistant Commissioner of Police, urged the unit to come out with modalities for establishing linkages with other units of the Police Service, the courts, health services, the National Population Council and traditional authorities to bring perpetrators of such crimes to book

He said "in this part of the country, old women have been labelled as witches, with children walking in the streets without formal education, molesting of wives and females as well as sexual abuses and child slavery have become common with the people"

The Regional Commander urged WAJU to work hard to free such people from these crimes to enable them to redirect their energies to the socio-economic development of the country.

Mr Alhassan Amadu, Regional Population Officer, who spoke on "the role of the security forces in managing the population", called for financial and logistic support for the WAJU Unit in the region, He noted that conflicts situations have helped increased the incidence of domestic violence and child abuse in the region but lamented that because of the remote and vast nature of the area the

police were unable to reach out to the victims of domestic violence. He urged the Police service to encourage small family sizes among its personnel and assist others to do it and also ensure crime was detected on time to bring sanity in society.

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