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19.05.2005 General News

US University students commend WAJU

By GNA

Accra, May 19, GNA - Social studies students of the University of Minnesota, USA, on Thursday paid glowing tribute to the government for establishing the Women and Juvenile Unit (WAJU) of the Police Service to handle cases of violence against women and juveniles.

They also commended the unit for working hard with limited resources in the areas of education and counselling as a step in minimizing violence of all kinds meted out to women and juveniles. "Our country does not have a special unit within our Police Department that handles cases of violence against women and this is a feat for Ghana, a developing world," Prof Megan Morrissey, leader of the a 14-member social studies student delegation from the University of Minnesota, USA.

The students, who paid a familiarization visit to WAJU to have first hand information on their operations, are in the country to learn how other countries address social issues of women and children. Prof Morrissey said the group was impressed with work done by the unit since its establishment and how national laws had been blended with international ones for the benefit of the nation. "It is not surprising therefore that the silence surrounding violence against women had been broken in your country. This proactive stance is indeed commendable and we stand in solidarity with WAJU," she said.

She said violence against women in the US was very high and what non-governmental organisations did to help is counsel the victim and engage the services of transformed perpetrators, especially men, to counsel fellow offenders.

This, Prof Morrissey said, was "doing the trick" because men felt comfortable with counsellors who were of the same sex and had one time or the other taken advantage of vulnerable women and juveniles. She therefore advised WAJU to do the same to help check the trend. Mrs Sophia Torpey, Commanding Officer, WAJU, said through intensive education and letting victims know that they were not to be blame, the stigma of rape had become a thing of the past. 19 May 05

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