The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) has been called upon to publish the procedure for accessing the Domestic Violence (DV) Fund to help in the rehabilitation of survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).
Mr Ore Ayoola Akanji, Research, Advocacy and Learning Manager, Ghana SRHR Alliance (GH Alliance), who made the call, said ‘We realised that there are some gaps in the Domestic Violence Act, which include assistance from Police to survivors, and free medical care for survivors. We believe that if the DV Fund can be accessed, it will address these loopholes.’
He said it would also provide a first stop-shelter for survivors of domestic violence, make it easy for the Police to do their work effectively, help survivors in their rehabilitation process, and be reintegrated into society.
He was speaking at a dialogue on the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act organised in Tamale by the GH Alliance under the Power to Youth project as part of activities to commemorate
this year’s 16 Days of Activism Campaign against SGBV, which is an international campaign commemorated from November 25, through December 10, every year.
The discussions centred on the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act, gaps identified in the Act, challenges faced by survivors of SGBV in accessing justice and other services, and the MoGCSP’s activities to reduce cases of SGBV in the country.
Participants included representatives from the Regional Department of Children of the MoGCSP, the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, the National Population Council, civil society organisations, and media practitioners among others.
The then Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, last year, announced that the DV Fund had been established with a seed fund of GHc1.5 million to support survivors of SGBV.
However, many survivors of SGBV across the country are not able to access the DV Fund because the procedure to access it has not been made public, henc
e the call for the MoGCSP to publish the procedure to make it easy for survivors to access it.
Mr Akanji also urged the Ministry to put into implementation the requirement to have a quarterly meeting of the Domestic Violence Management Board, which was important to discuss crucial matters regarding SGBV.
He also called on the Ministry to quicken the pace of the review of the Domestic Violence Act to cater for the needs of victims.
Mr Sanday Iddrisu, Northern Regional Director, Department of Children, MoGCSP said efforts were ongoing to open a one-stop-shop for domestic violence cases at the Tamale Teaching Hospital by the first quarter of next year to ensure comprehensive care for survivors of SGBV.
Mr Iddrisu said the MoGCSP was engaging various stakeholders including religious leaders to speak against child marriages as well as had trained some women market executives to serve as paralegals in their markets and communities to assist survivors of SGBV.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mrs Vicent
ia Aboagye, Northern Regional Coordinator of DOVVSU said DOVVSU was working to resolve SGBV cases as well as ensure justice for survivors.
Source: Ghana News Agency