A 40-million dollar data management system on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) for the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, was launched in Accra on Thursday.
The system, an electronic means of collecting, collating and disseminating information on SGBV has replaced the manual means by which data was tabulated and forwarded to DOVVSU officers by personnel.
Launching the facility, the Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Commissioner of Police (COP) Prosper Kwame Agblor, urged the public to report domestic violence issues to DOVVSU.
He said domestic violence was a threat to the nation, especially when some of the victims were killed, maimed or harmed.
COP Agblor said since the establishment of the Unit in October 1988, it had become the only source of credible data or statistics on domestic violence as well as SGBV.
DOVVSU, he said, had a clear mandate to specifically handle issues of domestic violence and child abuse.
COP Mr. Agblor said DOVVSU collaborates with stakeholders in order to provide a coordinated and timely response to victims of abuse.
“The vision of the Unit is, therefore, to create a conducive atmosphere, which will enable victims to freely report their ordeals for the law to take its course,” he said.
The Resident Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Dr. Babatunde Ahonsi, said ‘Advances in computing and communications technologies and the development of digital networks have revolutionalised the manner in which data are stored’, he said.
The database, Dr. Ahorsi said, would help to drastically reduce or eliminate challenges encountered by DOVVSU in the fulfillment of its mandate, key among them were wrongful tabulation of figures, inaccurate data entry and delay in receiving data from the regions.
UNFPA, he said, was concerned about access to sexual reproductive health and rights, and improved maternal health.
Dr.Ahorsi noted that SGBV, mainly against women and girls, constituted the most prevalent human right violations in the world.
The Director of DOVVSU, Chief Supt. Lawrencia Akorli, said UNFPA had collaborated with the Unit to develop a system that readily shared information on SGBV by a click of a button.
“This innovation is intended to increase accessibility of DOVVSU database and have a centralised system to improve data communication,” she said, adding the system would enhance data security and minimise the risk of data loss.
By Francis Asamoah Tuffour