The Former Gender and Children Minister, Nana Oye Lithur has noted that the big problem facing the fight against domestic violence has been the continuous inadequate financial support from the government.
In a roundtable discussion, dubbed; Gender-Based Violence and Law Reform, Oye Lithur said, “because we don’t have much in terms of resources, by the time it trickles down to a supposedly soft issue like gender based violence, there is almost nothing in the kitty and then that creates a problem.”
“I was in government and I can speak to that,” she added.
The prevalence of domestic violence remains unacceptably high with numerous consequences ranging from psychological to maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity outcomes in pregnant women.
Statistics in Ghana indicates that 33 to 37 percent of women have ever experienced domestic violence in the form of intimate partner violence in their relationship. Even in schools, research has shown that 14 and 52 percent of girls are victims of sexual abuse and gender-based violence respectively.
These estimates may be far less than what actually persists, as violence against women and girls remain a largely hidden problem that only few females have the courage to openly confess
The National Coordinator for the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU), Chief Superintendent Owusua Kyeremeh noted that the unit mainly depends on the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for assistance for their yearly activities.
“So until UNFPA starts disbursing its budget we are at a standstill,” Kyeremeh added.
For effective prosecution of domestic violence, Oye Lithur called for the need to look at the forensic science.
She noted that there are many interventions and support, but one is making the prosecution and justice for the victims quick and easier.
Statistics also shows that, less than one percent of gender based violence is convicted and over 70 percent of cases still pending prosecution.
“One reason for this has been that, we don’t have the equipment or technology, which could help in getting evidence for prosecution.”
“There is the need to invest in that to make prosecution easy, to make investigation easier and quicker,” she stressed.
By Joshua W. Amlanu