Bolgatanga, May 18, GNA – Some selected media Practitioners in the Upper East Region have been schooled on the Domestic Violence Act to enable them report effectively and accurately to help fight the practice and promote inclusive development.
The day’s training, which was organized by the Widows and Orphans Movement (WOM), a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) with funding support from Action Aid Ghana (AAG), another NGO, was aimed at equipping the media practitioners with the necessary knowledge and skills to carry out reports that would influence people who were abused to report to the appropriate authorities for redress.
The journalists were taken through the Domestic Violence Act of 2007, Act 732, by resource persons from the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service.
The capacity building training was to enlighten media practitioners in the region on the Act as well as its implementation to ensure that they could clearly identify, cover and report issues of domestic violence and violence against women in an appropriate manner.
Speaking at the training programme, Ms Patricia Ayichuru, the Women’s Right Officer of WOM explained that as part of its gender-based advocacy programmes, her outfit in collaboration with Action Aid Ghana had over the years implemented projects geared towards promoting and protecting the rights of the vulnerable particularly women and children.
She said domestic violence especially violence against women and vulnerable people were rampant in various communities, however, people were ‘ignorant’ about the law and were afraid to report cases for redress leading to constant abuse.
Ms Ayichuru explained that the aim of WOM was to eliminate all forms of violence especially against women and children and had engaged various stakeholders and institutions including traditional authorities, CHRAJ and DOVVSU among others to sensitize them on the menace of the domestic violence to development practice and how they could contribute to ending it.
The Women’s Rights Officer indicated that their efforts had not yielded the desired results and so there was the need to up their drive and said the media was a major tool in achieving that.
She said, “The media as the mouth piece of the citizens especially the vulnerable are being targeted as key partners in promoting and protecting women rights through good coverage and reportage.”
The Women’s Rights Officer explained that the media had a wider influence on society and added that when the media talks about issues of violence, people would develop confidence to report cases of abuse and the culprits dealt with appropriately.
Mr Abdulai Jaladeen, the Upper East Regional Director of CHRAJ who took participants through the Criminal Code of 1960, Act 29 and the Domestic Violence Act of 2007, Act 732, explained that widows were more prone to abuse than all categories of persons.
The Regional Director indicated that for the country to successfully end domestic violence, there was the need for societies to review some of their cultural beliefs including the dowry systems, and respect for the vulnerable, especially widows and female children.
He therefore called on the media to work closely with the law enforcement agencies and expose violence in societies as well as educate the public on the canker and how it was adversely affecting the growth of society.
The media practitioners were further admonished to follow the structures of every institution especially DOVVSU to obtain information and desist from publishing stories that would dent the image of any officer or institution.