Thursday, March 19, 2015

More Husbands Abused By Their Wives In Northern Region

ASP Emmanuel Horlotu
518 husbands in the Northern Region of Ghana were said to have been beaten by their wives or subjected to various forms of domestic violence that eventually forced them to seek redress at the police station.

Fresh statistics made available to Savannahnews by the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service in Tamale, said there is an increased number of men who are now coming out boldly to report their abusive wives to the Unit in the Northern Region between 2009 and 2014.

In 2009, 71 cases were reported by the men, 47 in 2010, 44 in 2011, 77 in 2012, 147 in 2013 and 132 in 2014. Although the figure is still far below that of women reported within the same period, the Northern Regional Coordinator of DOVVSU, ASP Emmanuel Holortu said that the level of confidence exhibited by the men portrayed the level of understanding and acceptability of the Domestic Violent campaign in the region.

At a capacity building workshop organized for District and Divisional Police Commanders and DOVVSU Desk Officers on the effective implementation of the Domestic Violence Policy, ASP Holortu complained that women however continued to be at the receiving end of the worst forms of abuses which hinder their fundamental human rights and socio-economic development. 

Statistics indicated that as high as 2,391 domestic violence cases were recorded in the region between 2009 and 2014 by the DOVVSU. Major cases of abuse reported to the DOVVSU included rape, defilement, indecent assault, threat of unlawful harm or death, causing unlawful harm or damage, assault, compulsion of marriage, non-maintenance of spouse and children among others.

Out of the 2, 391 figure, 1,937 women were victims of the domestic violence as against 518 men in the years under review. In 2014 alone, the Northern Region recorded 667 cases of domestic violence representing 544 females and 132 males.

wife abusing husband
The Regional DOVVSU Coordinator noted that the high number of cases reported over the years suggested that most of the victims of domestic violence were now appreciating the fact that they had their rights, freedom and protection under the Constitution.

He pointed out that as high as 84 percent of women in the region accept domestic violence as social or cultural norm (Multi Indicator Cluster Survey 2011), and as a result, most of the cultural and traditional practices and norms were at found to be at variance with existing laws of the land.
ASP Holortu said that Domestic Violence occurs when a person connected to another in a relationship defined by law to be a domestic relationship treats the other in an intentionally violent or controlling manner.

The Northern Regional Police Commander, DCOP Ken Yeboah, regretted that the number of abuses recorded between 2009 and 2014 were less than 20 percent of the true cases of domestic violence that occurred in the various communities in the region.

He bemoaned that domestic violent victims in the rural areas were mostly prevented by their traditional rulers and opinion leaders from reporting such cases to the law enforcement agencies.

DCOP Yeboah who had on several platforms and on one-on-one basis cautioned some of the traditional rulers to desist from always trying to handle criminal cases in their palaces, also encouraged the victims to report to the Police for the necessary legal actions.

He also encouraged police officers to enforce the existing laws to change all the harmful practices and conducts, which were dehumanizing and served as impediments to social progress.

A similar workshop was organized in 2014 for DOVVSU Desk Officers and investigators in the region, which has yielded very good results. Reporting of Domestic Violence cases which used to be a challenge in the region is gradually becoming a thing of the past he added.  In January 2015 alone, 75 cases of Sexual and Gender-based Violence were reported to the DOVVSU in Tamale.  

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