Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dovvsu And Domestic Violence Legislation

Another interesting report from allAfrica - this time in Ghana:

Dovvsu & Domestic Violence Legislation
Report by Jessica Mcelfresh
"Domestic violence is defined as a family member, a partner or an ex-partner physically or psychologically dominating through economic, sexual or emotional abuses. Domestic violence persists against men, women and children around the world.

The Domestic Violence Bill passed in February 2007 mandated financial assistance to fight domestic violence and set up a Victims of Domestic Violence Support Fund supported by voluntary contributions and Parliament. The fund is supposed to provide enough money for the DOVVSU to provide basic support to victims and assist with matters of rehabilitation and reintegration. But the funding has not come a year and a half later. The DOVVSU is understaffed and lacks supplies to effectively deal with all the cases that come its way.

Formerly known as the Women and Juvenile Unit (WAJU), the DOVVSU changed to its present name between 2004 and 2005 and now openly accepts male victims of domestic violence. The Domestic Violence Bill is gender-neutral. But, an overwhelming majority of the victims at DOVVSU are females.

In a report from 1999, the Gender Studies and Human Rights Documentation Centre found that one in three women in Ghana experienced physical violence. According to Actionaid Ghana, two in three women do not report experiences of abuse, especially sexual violence, suggesting that reported cases grossly underestimate the prevalence of domestic violence.

When asked if the Domestic Violence Bill has helped operations at DOVVSU, Attipoe said yes and no because the bill is gender neutral so it is there to protect everybody, but without resources like education and money, the office can do little to make a real difference for victims of domestic violence in Ghana."

Lets hope this organisation receives the support it deserves - for all victims - regardless of age and sex.

No comments: