In a bid to help address gender-based violence in the country, the Ghana Australia Alumni Association (G3A) in partnership with the Australian High Commission has organized a day’s training workshop to build the capacity of DOVVSU Coordinators in the execution of their duties to protect individuals, especially women and girls from the act.
The training which is funded under the Australian High Commission’s Direct Aid Program (DAP) is among 21 projects that the High Commission is funding under the 2018/19 DAP. It is also one of nine (9) Gender-focused projects to be funded under the program this year.
Forty-five DOVVSU coordinators from 14 division commands and thirty investigators and prosecutors in the Greater Accra Region of DOVVSU will undergo training in trauma management, effective handling of gender-based violence survivors and effective investigations and prosecution of gender-based violence cases.
Mr. Andrew Barnes, the Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, addressing attendees at the opening ceremony of the workshop, said, “there is a lot to be done to eliminate gender-based violence thus the need for a multi-dimensional approach by all stakeholders, such as strengthening the capacity of DOVVSU to discharge its mandate effectively, providing logistical support and making the unit’s facilities more friendly to the public, especially women and children.”
He commended the Government of Ghana for passing into law the Domestic Violence Act (Act 732) to institute criminal sanctions for perpetrators and civil remedies for domestic victims as well as significantly improving Ghana’s compliance with its international human rights obligations.
The two bodies also donated logistics worth GH¢137,000.00, to the Greater Accra Regional Division of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service.
The items, which were funded under the Australian High Commission’s Direct Aid Programme (DAP), included computers, air-conditioners, and furniture such as desks, cabinets, swivel and guest chairs.
They also refurbished the male and female toilets, waiting room, staff offices and children’s room of the Unit.
Mr Ohene Damptey, the President of the G3A, expressed gratitude to the High Commission for responding to their petition to support domestic violence victims and appealed to the Unit to make good use of the donated items and properly maintain them.
He entreated them to take the capacity building workshop seriously as it would equip their skills and knowledge in the course of delivering their mandate to achieve the vision of the Unit.
Assistant Commissioner of Police George Tweneboah, the Deputy Director General of the Criminal Investigation Department of the GPS, also advised the Coordinators and all personnel of the Unit to show positive attitudes while working to instill confidence and courage in the citizenry to report to them whenever their rights were being violated.
“As we speak and deliver our functions, we should be unemotional, professional using the law and most importantly our attitudes should speak well of us,” he added.
Superintendent of Police Alice Awarikaro, the Regional Coordinator of DOVVSU, was grateful for the kind gesture.
She said although government had a responsibility to provide logistical support to the Unit, it couldn’t undertake the obligation alone.
She, therefore, appealed to other abled individuals and organisations to support the Unit with both human and logistical resources to enable them to work diligently to protect the citizenry.