Friday, February 22, 2008

British Minister Visits DOVVSU

British Minister Visits DOVVSU

Daily Graphic, Friday, February 22, 2008. Page 34 (News)

Mary Mensah & Davina Darko-Mensah

The British Deputy Minister for International Development, Ms Gillian Merron, has paid a familiarisation visit to the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service in Accra.

The visit was to enable Ms Merron to have a first-hand knowledge of the operations and activities of the various units within DOVVSU following the passage of the Domestic Violence Law (DVL). She said an effective judicial system would help minimise domestic violence in the country and commended Ghana for the passage of the DVL, saying that the move would go a long way to ensure that justice was done.

Ms Merron said violence against women affected their lives and those of their children, saying that hindered the development of the nation. The Under Secretary urged DOVVSU to continue with the good work it was doing by providing shelter for the victims of domestic violence and putting smiles on the faces.

The National Co-ordinator of DOVVSU, ACP Beatrice Vib-Sanzani, who briefed the British deputy minister, said the unit, which started in 1998, had expended over the years and currently had 75 desks in various districts throughout the country. She said unit handled issues that related to child abuse, domestic violence and other forms of inhumane treatment among women and children.

She observed that DOVVSU received support in the form of counselling and legal assistance from both local and international bodies such as UNICEF, UNFPA, NGOs, among others. Additionally, it currently had five clinical psychologists who counselled the victims of the reported cases.

One of the clinical psychologists, DSP Angela Obeng, explained that some cases that DOVVSU had processed were still pending in court due to delays. That, she inidicated, resulted in most victims preferring out-of-court settlements to punishing the offenders of the violence.

Some officials from the British Department for International Development (DFID) accompanied Ms Merron.

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