The Northern Regional Coordinator of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit(DOVVSU), Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Mr Emmanuel Holortu, has disclosed that Women and Children in rural environments experience more domestic and family violence than their counterparts in urban areas.
He said in the rural areas, about 80 percent of victims do not report domestic violence cases to DOVVSU due to social description.
Mr Holortu said this, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Tamale, and said that out of the 20 percent of cases reported to DOVVSU, only about one percent of the perpetrators are processed for court and are convicted.
“There is a common view in rural communities that “family problems” such as domestic and family violence are not talked about, which serves to silence women’s experience of domestic and family violence and discourage them from revealing violent acts and abuse to the police”.
He said the fear of stigma, shame, community gossip, and the lack of perpetrator accountability, put off women from seeking help from the law enforcing authorities.
DSP Holortu said the lack of privacy was due to high likelihood that the Police, health professionals and domestic and family violence workers know both the victim and perpetrator and this can hold back womens’ willingness to use local services to resolve issues at home.
He said these issues affect responses to domestic and family violence in non-urban communities, as well as women’s ability to seek help and access services in these communities.
He mentioned that poor understanding of domestic and family violence by health, social and legal service providers at the regional, rural and remote communities have been identified as significant obstacles for survivors of domestic and family violence to seek redress.
He urged government and other organisations to enhance the work of the Police with more logistics to enable them to successfully respond to domestic violence issues.