Survivors of domestic violence advised to pursue justice in all cases
The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) is entreating survivors of domestic violence (DV) to be bold and report such acts to the appropriate authorities for redress.
Additionally, it has encouraged survivors to be resolute in following cases through to the latter to ensure that perpetrators are brought to book and others deterred from continuing the crime.
Deputy Commissioner of CHRAJ, Mrs Mercy Larbi, who gave the advice in an interview with Spot On News yesterday noted that a major challenge in fighting the menace had been the failure of survivors to pursue justice to the latter often due to societal and family ‘pressure’.
“Often, because of public judgment people are afraid to report these abuses but if you don’t and have it dealt with as it’s supposed to, it may continue and possibly result in death.
In Ghana our laws allow someone to be innocent of a crime until proven guilty and normally, the courts need evidence to be able to prove the charge but you find that people report these abuses yet, when it is time to testify for the law to take its court, families and other influences step in and talk them out of it,” she stated.
“If u are bold to report, be bold to follow the case to the latter so that we can get punishment out of it to serve as deterrent to others,” Mrs Larbi added.
The Deputy Commissioner acknowledged other challenges in the fight against domestic violence including low public education, absence of shelters and other support systems as well as dependency of survivors on their abusers.
While calling on institutions like the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), Ghana Police Service (GPS) and the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) to be up and doing in handling matters of abuse, Mrs Larbi encouraged members of the public to also report such occurrences to the Commission to facilitate justice.
“CHRAJ is the oversight body of public institutions so if you report to police or any other institution and they are not taking it up, report to any of our offices across the country. We have the mandate to find out why the case is not being handled or slowing,” she said.
The Deputy Commissioner cautioned the public against viewing domestic violence as trivial and condoning it as it had impact on children who may grow up emulating the offense.
“We need to do away with trivialising abuses in the name of protecting family or social statuses so that it doesn’t escalate to death. Domestic violence is a violation of people’s rights. Life is very important and once you have it, you have everything.
If you are sensing danger, report or separate from your abuser and immediately let someone know what is happening,” she said.
Public uproar have been rife in the last week following reports of physical abuses meted to two women leading to their death.
A District Court in Madina on March 10, remanded into police custody one Prince Charles Dedjoe, a businessman for allegedly killing his 43-year old wife.
A Deputy Director of the Youth and Employment Agency (YEA) in the Akatsi North District, Philip Caesar Kumah, was also alleged to have subjected his girlfriend to severe beatings, resulting in her death later at the Ho Teaching Hospital.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH