By Samuel Akapule, GNA
Bolgatanga, March 19, GNA - Traditional rulers, opinion leaders and some youth groups in the Upper East Region have been schooled on the Legal Framework of Gender-based Violence.
The programme, organised in Bolgatanga by the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, with support from the UNFPA, was aimed at sensitising stakeholders on the legal framework to help fight domestic violence.
The Upper East Regional Deputy Coordinator of DOVVSU, ASP Veronica Obese, said gender-based violence had become a major problem in Ghana and mentioned wife battery and assault, deprivation of women of dead spouse’s property, forced marriages and child marriage, and Female Genital Mutilation as some of the examples.
ASP Obese said gender-based violence was mostly perpetrated against women and girls adding that the 1992 Constitution, the Children’s Act and International Conventions which Ghana had signed to frowned upon the menace.
She said the Domestic Violence Bill was enacted to protect women, children and the vulnerable.
“It is a family law that takes care of violence within the domestic setting. It could be between husband and wife, parents and children, former husband and former wife, master and apprentice and mistress and house help,” she said.
DSP Kwadwo Appiah, the Regional Coordinator of DOVVSU, said due to the complex nature of some of the issues, DOVVSU worked with other organisations including the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, the courts, Department of Social Welfare, Non-Governmental Organisations and other institutions in fighting the problem.
Mr James Agambila, the Deputy Regional Director of the Department of Social Welfare, said some of the domestic violence issues were psychological and economical and called on the chiefs and opinion leaders to advocate for a change or removal of inimical customs and traditions.
He stressed the need for the law enforcement agencies to punish culprits of domestic violence to serve as a deterrent to others.
He said some common cases in the region were the failure of some fathers to provide for the health, education and economic needs of their children and wives.
The stakeholders were schooled on the types of domestic violence that constituted crime and punishment and where urged to report such cases.
They were also taken through the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, and some National Instruments and International Conventions such as the Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms, the Criminal Offences Act of Ghana, Act 29/60, the Domestic Violence Act, Act 732/2007, the Children’s Act, Act 560/98 and the Violation of UN Bill Rights.