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28.12.2005 Regional News

Neglect of child maintenance tops 970 cases of Tema DVVSU

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Tema, Dec. 28, GNA - Seven hundred and sixty-one cases of neglect of child maintenance by fathers topped the total list of 970 related domestic cases recorded by the Tema office of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DVVSU) between January and November 2005. This was followed by defilement with 54, offensive conduct 17, threat of death 14 and rape 13.

The Coordinator of the unit, ASP Rebecca Nyamah disclosed to the Ghana News Agency in an interview at Tema on Wednesday that, this time round, four men mustered the courage to report their wives for marital offences.

Other offences were causing damage, abduction, abortion, indecent assault, and threat of harm, causing damage, child abandonment and bigamy.

She said most of the men claimed they were unemployed and therefore faced financial constraints, thus compelling them to neglect their responsibilities as fathers.

However, mothers, who insisted on remittance from the men, who fathered the children, were subjected to severe assault and inhuman treatment and threat of death, leading to separation at the detriment of the children.

For children to have parental love and adequate protection, the ASP appealed to couples to endeavour to settle differences between them, while wives should refrain from engaging in gossips about their marriages, as this contributes largely to spousal separation. She also advised women against forcing themselves unto men, who do not perform the necessary customary rites but decide that they lived together for a longer period.

In such circumstances the women do not have the due respect from the men, because they had presented themselves cheaply.

On defilement, ASP Nyamah called on parents, especially mothers to monitor the movements of their children so that they do not sway into social vices that might eventually create social problems and financial difficulties.

In a related development, an eight-year-old boy staying with the father at Ashaiman has left him to seek refuge at the DVVSV until he locates the mother.

Asked why he was leaving the father's house, the eloquent and handsome boy told the GNA that though his father caters for him adequately, he still wants to see his mother.

"When I wake from bed my father makes sure I prepare fast and eat good food before I go to school, on my return I take my lunch and watch television until he comes from work so that we have our super together, in spite of the pampering, I want to see my mother", he stated. A source said the boy was abandoned by the mother unto the father, when he was a baby but the father, who has not married since said he has not heard of the boys mother after the abandonment.

The source said the boy left the house at Ashaiman in search of the mother and was spotted by someone, who took him to the unit.

The boy has for the past two months remained there staying with one of the female personnel, while the father comes to the unit to feed him, sends him to school and back and this has been the routine. Also at the unit, a 70-year-old man was being held for having continuous affair with a 14-year-old schoolgirl.

Explaining the rationale behind the change of name from Women and Juvenile Unit (WAJU) to the DVVSU, ASP Nyamah said it was to correct an impression that the unit was created for only women and children.