Mrs Samira Bawumia, Second Lady, on Friday urged officers of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU), to add a human touch in handling domestic violence cases so that victims do not relive their stories every day.
She said, “it’s not just the technical aspect of what you are doing but also the human touch for victims not to relive the story every day. They should know that we have a unit that cares for them and supports them and wants to see a resolution to their problems”.
She noted that officers at the unit were the first point of contact for victims and it’s their attitude that would help encourage the victims to either continue with the process of prosecution or drop a case.
Mrs Bawumia made the appeal at the closing of a five-day workshop, organised by the UNFPA, in collaboration with the Coalition of People Against SGVB and Harmful Practices (COPASH) for officers of DOVVSU across the country.
She said the training was crucial in ensuring efficient service delivery, and to ensure that knowledge on new trends and best practices in handling domestic violence victims and cases is up to date.
It also seeks to ensure that each unit was aware of efficient ways of handling domestic violence cases in general and ensuring that investigations are properly supervised and successfully prosecuted.
She said the training would develop a five year strategic plan for DOVVSU, and that, COPASH was fully in support of the plans they have set for themselves in the years to come, to reduce and ultimately end domestic violence in Ghana
The second Lady said 34 per cent of all women experience violence of some form, meaning one in every three women is affected, which is unacceptable by all standards.
Domestic violence has psychological effect on women, which is also transferred to the children and the society at large.
“We want to eliminate this unfortunate incidence in the country and for Ghana to be a beacon. Ghana is leading the way in the determination and efforts towards ending domestic violence,” she said.
She congratulated the participants and urged them to impart the knowledge they had acquired to their juniors or those they supervise.
“If you have DOVVSU and you cannot be successful in your prosecution then there is no point. All the things you have learnt today are dear to my heart and are important for resolution of all of these problems,” she said.
Chief Superintendent Owusua Kyeremeh, National Coordinator, DOVVSU said the workshop was organised for regional, deputy and divisional coordinators of DOVVSU across the country.
It was to bridge the gap in the performance of the duties of DOVVSU coordinators in the handling of domestic violence issues and Sexual and gender based violence.
She said this would ensure that officers are brought up to date with some of the new trends and international standards in the area of investigations and prosecutions.
Participants were taken through topics such as child friendly policing, electronic investigations relating to cybercrime investigations, drafting of SGVB charges, human rights violations associated with sexual and gender based violence and ethics training, among others.
She said in all, 32 participants attended the workshop and expressed the hope that after the training there would be an improvement in the way domestic violence cases are handled.