Domestic Violence Victims to Receive More Interventions from Government
Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mrs Gifty Twum-Ampofo, has announced that Domestic Violence victims will be receiving more help from government, especially with the opening of the Domestic Violence Shelter which will be completed soon and made available to victims.
She said government has given a new office building plus a sum of GHc10 million to make that possible.
This announcement was made at a roundtable discussion to commemorate the World Day of Social Justice, organised by the Centre for Democratic Development-Ghana (CDD-Ghana) and the Ark Foundation, on February 20, 2019.
The theme for the celebration was: “Full Implementation and Compliance of Domestic Violence Act (Act 732): Government, Parliament and Judiciary Responsibilities”.
The Act was passed in 2007 to establish criminal sanctions for culprits of Domestic Violence and offer help for victims and also improve Ghana’s compliance with its international human rights obligations.
To ensure government’s compliance to the Act, the Domestic Violence Secretariat, the Management Board, and the Domestic Violence Fund, were launched
According to Madam Gifty, their core mandate as a social protection agency is to protect victims of domestic violence by providing them with shelter and other interventions like skills training.
She observed that this can only remain a dream until the Domestic Violence Shelter is made operational, and money is provided to aid the running of the shelter. She added that it is difficult for the ministry to track victims and cases reported because of inadequate funds.
Mrs. Twum-Ampofo further added that despite interventions by the ministry to educate and sensitize people about the effects of domestic violence, it still persisted. She also noted that the Domestic Violence Act is not being implemented effectively.
Mrs Twum-Ampofo thanked development partners, especially the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands, for supporting the Domestic Violence Secretariat over the years and asked that they help make it operational.
The Australian High Commissioner, Mr Andrews Barnes lauded CDD-Ghana and the Ark Foundation for organizing such a program.
He said the Domestic Violence Act needs political pressure and willpower to function effectively.
The Australian High Commission has devoted funds to help build a safe shelter for domestic violence victims in Ghana- he added.
The Executive Director of CDD-Ghana, Professor Kwasi Prempeh advocated for more awareness creation on the Act, to help make its implementation a reality.
Also speaking at the programme, the Executive Director of the Ark Foundation, Dr Angela Dwanema-Aboagye said the public needs to know the report on the domestic violence Fund, where it can be accessed and direct donors as to where to make their donations.
Officer in-charge of Prosecutions at the Domestic Violence and Victim’s Support Unit of the Ghana Police Service, SP Adolphine Dzansi made an appeal to the Government to make available more clinical psychologists for domestic violence victims as the Unit had only one for the whole country.