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The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mrs Nana Oye Lithur, has pledged government’s commitment to supporting research work and innovation in all fields including domestic violence to help address prevailing issues that hinder the development of the country.


Mrs Lithur, who was speaking at the launch the Ghana Domestic Violence Research Report in Accra, yesterday,  noted that domestic violence continued to be one of the most pervasive of human rights abuses in the world, yet one of the least reported, least prosecuted and one of the greatest threats to lasting peace and development in Ghana.


She said statistics on domestic violence from research reports had not changed fundamentally from 1999 and stressed the need to step up efforts, including financial support and continuous research as a means of developing effective strategies to protect the Ghanaian society against domestic violence.


Mrs Lithur said government enacted the Domestic Violence Act (Act) 732 in February 2007 with the support of advocacy efforts by civil society organisations and women’s rights organisations and this legislation had led to a progressive approach to addressing domestic violence.


According to the Minister, the report indicated a phenomenal increase in the reporting of domestic violence cases since 1999, adding that the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) had resolved 826 gender-related cases between 2011 and 2013 and referred 155.


She said: “It is an opportunity for us all as government, civil society organisations and individuals to better understand and appreciate the impact of domestic violence in Ghana, and more importantly work hard together to reduce the incidence of domestic violence in Ghana.”


She added that: “As a government, we are committed to encouraging initiatives like this Study, which, enable us to address prevailing issues that hinder our development as a country. We will continue to support research work and innovation in all fields including important areas like domestic violence.”


In his remarks, H.E. Jon Benjamin, British High Commissioner to Ghana, noted that no society could fully develop, if half of that society suffered some degree of marginalization and exclusion.


H.E. Benjamin said evidence generated from the study that produced the Report would be used to advance legal policies and interventions to reduce the level of domestic violence and called on society to get actively involved in fighting the canker of domestic violence.


For her part, Dr Philomena Nyarko, Government Statistician, underscored the importance of the passage of the Domestic Violence Act, 2007 (Act 732) as presenting the urgency to improving the production and dissemination of data on gender to inform policy issues and support the assessment of efforts geared towards the achievement of gender equality in the country.


The Report, entitled: ‘Domestic Violence in Ghana: Incidence, Attitudes, Determinants and Consequences’, includes specific recommendations to strengthen the implementation of Ghana's National Plan of Action on Domestic Violence and the National Social Protection Strategy.


The study, which generated the Report, aimed to provide an in-depth understanding of the incidence and types of domestic violence amongst people aged 15 to 60 years in Ghana; the determinants and consequences of domestic violence; the individual, household and community level attitude towards domestic violence; and the use and access of victims support services and institutions.


It was commissioned by the Domestic Violence (DV) Secretariat of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).


Source: ISD (Eva Frempon-Ntiamoah)