Madam Edna Akotsu, the Deputy Superintendent of Police at Adenta- Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DoVVSU) Division has called on stakeholders to act as change ambassadors to help end Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in Ghana.
“It is vital that you act as ambassadors of change by acting as informants and reporting any acts of SGBV against any member of the community to the police.
“Community leaders have some level of authority in their respective communities to support the State end issues of violence,” she said.
Madam Akotsu was speaking during a two-day orientation programme organized by Global Action for Women Empowerment (GLOWA) to sensitise duty bearers on their role in ending SGBV in Ghana.
The four-year (2019-22) project funded by the European Union at cost of €5.9m (90 per cent by EU and 10 per cent by Oxfam) is being spearheaded by a consortium made up of Oxfam IBIS (Denmark), Oxfam in Ghana, Oxfam in Liberia, Foundation for Community Initiative, WiLDAF/Ghana and WiLDAF Mali.
It is on the theme “Enough! Empowering women, girls, boys and men to take positive action in ending gender-based violence in Ghana”.
She said all forms of SGBV such as; physical abuse, sexual, emotional and economic Abuse did have an adverse impact on victims and the community at large, hence community leaders could prevent SGBV by organizing campaign/durbars to sensitize community members.
She urged them not to trivialize sexual assault issues in the community and would provide with anonymity if need be for certain cases.
Madam Lois Aduamoah-Addo, the Programme Coordinator at WILDAF Ghana, in her presentation highlighted the various challenges the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act since its passage in 2007 faced.
She said in 1998, the Gender Studies on Human Rights Documentation Centre Research about Women and Children in Ghana revealed that out of every three women in Ghana, one had experienced domestic violence and the incidence of COVID-19 had affected both women and men, boys and girls because it exacerbated pre-existing gender inequities and power hierarchies and increased in the occurrence of sexual and gender-based violence in our communities.
She said ignorance of the law, unequal power relation and under-resourced DoVVSU had hindered the fight to end domestic violence.
Mr Godwin Nkansah, the Programmes Officer for GLOWA, said the project was underway in 10 communities within two districts in Accra,namely; La Nkwantanang and Kpone Katamanso Municipalities as they look to outline series of interventions to address various SGBV issues.