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08.04.2004 General News

Senior Attorney speaks on domestic violence

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Accra, April 7, GNA -- Mr. Henry Tackie, a Senior Attorney at the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General's Department has called on Ghanaians to disabuse their minds of the misconceptions about the Domestic Violence Bill since it is in the interest of both men and women. He said there is nothing like "marital rape" in the bill, as is being peddled around and explained that the bill dwells on "sexual abuse" which is not the same as marital rape.

Mr. Tackie, who was speaking at a day's sensitisation seminar on the bill for media practitioners in Accra on said violence in marriage be it sexual or all should abhor physical abuse.

It was organised by the National Coalition on Domestic Violence Legislation in Ghana and sponsored by the UNICEF "Force, harm and violence should not be part of marriage and the bill seeks to create harmony among couple", he said.

Mr. Tackie said although the bill was specifically drawn in the interest of women, research has shown that before women could report an abuse to the police, only after being assaulted on many occasions. He said domestic violence is a canker which is eating up the society and therefore asked Ghanaians not to reduce the argument to just "marital rape" but consider the socio-economic effects of domestic violence and support the bill.

Mr. Adolf Awuku-Bekoe, a Clinical Psychologist noted that the bill does not seek to break families but rather seeks to rectify some of the mishaps that have been tearing families apart for some time now.

He called on the government to resource the National Commission for Civic Education and the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice to enable them to educate the people very well about bills before they are put before Parliament.

Mrs Rosaline Batuolkuo Obeng-Ofori of the Action-Aid, Ghana, who chaired the function announced the Coalition was developing a curriculum on gender to be part of the courses for the police, nurses and medical officers. She said this would enable such professionals to be in a better position to handle gender issues, which come before them efficiently.

Nana Asantewaa Afadzinu, Co-ordinator for the Coalition appealed to Journalists to read the bill to enable them to give the people the right information about it to curtail the misconceptions going around.

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