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04.06.2004 General News

Assault cases higher than other forms of violence

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Accra, June 4, GNA - The Women and Juvenile Unit in Accra recorded 4,004 assault cases from 1999 to May 2004 as the highest domestic violence cases reported by women at the Unit. Ms Esther Appiah, Commander in Charge of the Unit in an Interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra said a total of 1,756 defilement cases involving children between the ages of two and 15 years were also recorded.

She said this was followed by a total of 1,340 threatening cases by men against women and 397 rape cases involving girls between 16 years and above.

Cases such as indecent assault amounted to 193, causing damage, was put at 128, causing harm totalled 98 and incest recorded 44, Ms Appiah, said men were the accused persons in all the case.

She, however, said that from the year 2000 the Unit recorded six cases in which women were convicted for causing various forms of violence at home.

Ms Appiah cautioned women, who felt they were stronger than their husbands and could assault them, to stop such acts because they could be prosecuted.

"The law was no respecter of persons, it is not for women alone, it is there to protect everyone", she said. Ms Appiah said some men reported their wives for assaulting them but most of such cases were not recorded because most of the times they did not want the women to be prosecuted but to be advised. She said men who reported their wives, were inversely blamed by their wives who accused them of being the ones, who triggered the violence.

Ms Appiah said women could not match the strength of men but because a woman might have gone through years of suffering from men, "it gets to a point where she can no longer bear the pain, then she would become violent".

She said the problem of forced marriages was very common in the Northern Region, adding that pupils as young as 12 years were sometimes forced into marriages, which was illegal. Ms Appiah said the Southern part of the country was also noted for sexual abuse, rape and defilement. 04 June 04