The Department of Gender has encouraged men not to shy away from reporting their abusive wives to the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) for redress.
Mrs Thywill Eyra Kpe, the Central Regional Director of the Department of Gender who gave the advice, said the era where men remained silent under severe social, economic, physical, emotional and psychological abuses due to certain cultural and traditional misconceptions were over.
She gave the advice at a training workshop for over 50 parents of the ‘Community Parents Network Advocacy Group’ (COPNCY) at Ajumako on Wednesday.
The two-day engagement was aimed at schooling participants on good parenting, Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (ASHR), prevention of Sexual and Gender Base Violence (SGBV) and adolescent pregnancies.
The Central Regional Office of the Department of Gender organized the programme with support from the Regional Coordinating Council and funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Canadian Government.
It was on the theme, “connecting adolescent pregnancy and sexual abuse in the wake of COVID-19: The role of parents.”
It also discussed the best ways of handling SGBV cases in the country, and provided a platform for the participants to examine challenges and the way forward to address cases of violence against women and girls in their world of work, including rampant sexual violence and harassment.
Among others, the forum empowered all apprentices to know their rights at their various work places and how to report cases of abuses to the right authorities.
According to her, domestic violence was not discriminatory be it gender or age but society had misconceptions that men could only be abusers, not victims, which was why many men do not report such abuses.
“Societal misconceptions, cultural and religious traits have emasculated men who have experienced domestic violence – making them feel embarrassed when coming forward”.
This is because society had told them to be strong and never let anyone abuse them or be considered weak since real men should be in charge.
“Being a male does not make men immune from domestic violence”, Mrs Kpe stressed.
Mrs. Kpe also advised parents to stop withdrawing reported cases on sexual violence and allow the law to take its full course.
She said some victims of sexual violence did not get the needed justice, because their cases were not always allowed to get to court, after enough evidence had been gathered against the perpetrators for prosecution.
To that end, Mrs Kpe appealed to traditional leaders, opinion leaders and all citizens to desist from attempts to settle domestic violence cases at home.
It is every citizen’s civic duty to report such cases to the police and to ensure that the law took its course and “thereby tackle the scourge of impunity in such cases in our communities”.
Mr Theophilus Tetteh Tuwor, the Regional Director of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, said such violence, among other harmful practices, had legal implications and encouraged participants to be advocates in their communities to curb it.
Mr Patrick Amoah, a participant, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that some traditional norms and values were usually against efforts to fight SGBV, mostly suffered by women and girls, and called on the authorities to spread the education to the rural communities to stem the practice.
The training, he noted, had equipped participants to better understand issues of violence against women and expressed the hope that it would help to significantly reduce it in his community.