September 24, 2019 5:32 pm

The Domestic Violence Secretariat under the auspices of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has launched a Domestic/ Sexual and Gender- Based Violence (DV/SGBV) Rapid Response Centre at Abgogloshie Market on September 20, 2019.

The launch is a follow-up activity that was organized in June, 2019 for selected Market Executives to equip them with knowledge on DV/SGBV to better respond to such issues at the market. It is also aimed at creating awareness of the existence of the centers and services available to survivors.

The Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Freda Prempeh at the occasion mentioned that Domestic Violence and Gender Based Violence is not for only adults but also affects children and girls. She said Domestic Violence is a major problem affecting the nation and most victims have no idea of the laws against the act. The Minister also said in as much as they are all trying so hard to curb the issues about Gender-Based Violence it is still happening in their homes as well as marriages, considering the statistics from 2016 where reported cases was 4190 and increased between 2017 to 2019.

She said this clearly brings out the point that there are many citizens who still have not heard about Domestic Violence and Gender-Based violence laws which do not give us the chance to maltreat our partners.

The Hon. Deputy Minister said the 1992 Constitution, the Children’s Act 560, the Criminal offense Act 1960 (Revised) and Domestic Violence Act 732, the Code of Professional Conduct of Ghana Education Service (GES) , Human Trafficking Act, 2005 amongst others all protect us from Domestic Violence and Gender- Based Violence but cases of such acts is still increasing, meaning the education and announcement with regards to the issue is less and they need to still enhance it, to be more effective.

Hon. Deputy Minister said rape cases recorded in 2016 was 236 and 311, Defilement in 2016 was 722 and increased to 793 in 2017 which clearly shows that they have a long way to go with their work. She added that some selected market women and residents of the area with an officer from the Domestic Violence Secretariat have been able to gain some education on the subject matter with the help of UNFPA. She encouraged all to report Cases of Rape, Defilement, Assault to them and have faith that their cases will be looked at with urgency.

She added that most people had the perception that her Ministry is all about School Feeding but they deal with issues such as Rape Cases, Defilement, Child Trafficking, Teenage Pregnancy, Early Child Marriages amongst others.

Hon. Freda Prempeh said to the head potters (Kakayes) present that, they are very dear to the  nation because they can be Lawyers, Presidents, Doctors irrespective of they being a Kayaye today because the Ministry has introduced many interventions to get them employable skills through tailoring, hair Dressing and others.

She called on all to help make the policy stand on its feet by accepting it and always report perpetrators of Domestic Violence Act for the law to take its course. She cautioned men who are fond of taking advantage of women and children sexually and abusing them to desist from such acts as the victims may end up getting pregnant or contracting diseases. She advised all to stop the act of treating such issues as “home issues”

Hon. Freda Prepeh unveiled the Rapid Response Center at Abgobloshie and called on them to utilize it by reporting issues of Violence and other cases of Domestic Violence at the Centre. The Deputy  Minister adviced those who have undergone the training to take their work seriously and should not misuse their positions but rather help to advise the victims to help curb the issues at the place.

She announced that a similar centre will also be opened at Madina Market. Those who had the training were introduced and congratulated by the Deputy Minister on behalf of the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Cynthia Morrison. She concluded by saying it is her hope that the 2018 statistics on Gender-Based Violence will reduce to the minimum as expected by all.

She also expressed her appreciation to the Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the Municipality of Asiedu Keteke for their massive support in making their project at Agbogbloshie a reality.