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21.09.2005 General News

Laws of the land abhors domestic violence

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Kumasi, Sept 21, GNA - Professor Kenneth Agyemang Attafuah, a Lecturer at GIMPA has condemned the act of forcibly having sex with one's spouse, saying that it is alien to both customary laws and Ghana's Constitution.

He has therefore, called on traditional rulers custodians of customary laws and traditions of the land to use their influence and respected positions in society to stem the practice, which is a blatant violation of human dignity.

Prof. Attafuah was presenting papers on "Domestic Violence and its Impact" and "Responding to Domestic Violence, The Role of Traditional Rulers", at a day's consultative meeting of the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs (MOWCA) and the National House of Chiefs (NHC) in Kumasi on Tuesday to solicit the invaluable opinions of chiefs to the Domestic Violence Bill before it is passed into law.

He said the fact that in the traditional set up spouses could gleefully share experiences of excellent sexual performances but were tight-lipped or feel ashamed to talk about coercing their partners into sex was an indication of how shamefully and obnoxious that practice was and therefore must be condemned in uncertain terms.

Prof. Attafuah, said domestic violence existed in various forms such as spousal assault battery of killing, spanking, kicking, pushing, punching and insulting to either inflict physical or psychological pain or injury to the victim.

He maintained that it was very sad that in a country whose Constitution uphold the respect for the dignity of its people was the very place where such acts of human rights violations were meted out to victims in the home setting and in the bedrooms which ironically was supposed to provide comfort and solace to them.

Prof. Attafuah said recent studies had revealed that over 90 per cent of domestic violence victims were women, children and the physically challenged and that these victims were rendered traumatized and unproductive to be able to contribute meaningfully to national development thus making the nation the ultimate loser.

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