By Samuel Akapule, GNA
Sakoti (UE), July 31, GNA - Action Aid Ghana (AAG), an NGO has advocated the establishment of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) offices in the Upper East Region to help reduce domestic violence.
Out of the 13 districts in the Region, only Bolgatanga, the capital town of the Region has a DOVVSU office.
Ms Juliet Adams, the Programmes Officer of Action Aid Ghana, said this at a sensitisation durbar on the dissemination of findings on Gender Based Violence Mapping at the Community Level conducted by Community Based Anti-Violence Teams (COMBAT) at the Sakoti Community.
She said lack of facilities to address social issues in the Districts was among some of the reasons that accounted for the upsurge of domestic violence in many communities in the Region.
Speaking on the rapid assessment on gender based violence in 15 communities in the Talensi and Nabdam Districts conducted by AAG, the Programme Officer said preliminarily finding revealed that about 75 per cent of women from 30 -55 years experienced severe physical violence such as biting, slapping, pushing and forced confinement.
The research also revealed that about 70 per cent of women from 30 -55 years’ experienced sexual violence such as marital rape and attempted rape.
“Eighty per cent of women experience cultural violence such as widowhood rites while 80 per cent of children below the age of 18 experienced cultural violence such as forced marriage and defilement,” he said.
Ms Adams said the effects of Domestic Violence could remain with women and children for a lifetime and could be passed on from generation to generation.
She pointed out that as part of AAG contributions to help fight the canker in the Region led to the formation of COMBAT to train and identify issues relating to domestic violence and report such cases to the appropriate quarters for redress.
She stated that apart from engaging major stakeholders including traditional, religious and opinion leaders in the communities to help address the issue, AAG had also formed girls and child rights clubs with the objective of discussing issues of child development as well as violence related issues.
The programme Officer called for the enforcement of the Legal Instrument of Domestic Violence and the need for government to establish funding to support domestic violence victims.
Ms Adams said there was also the need for health centres as well as psychological support and counselling centres and shelter for domestic violence victims.
Women, she said must also be sensitised and educated to know their legal rights and supported to navigate the legal systems to access justice with fairness and justice.
The research findings which was at its preliminarily stages would be validated and shared with policy makers and other organisations to help fight the phenomenon, she said.
Naba Segri Bewong, the Paramount Chief of Sakoti, in a speech read on his behalf lauded the efforts of AAG for championing and fighting to end negative cultural practices in the area.
He noted that the phenomenon had reduced to some appreciable level.