DOVVSU records increase in assault cases

A total of 4,900 cases of assault were captured in the data management system (DODMAS) of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service last year.

The number was up by about 700 of the 2016 figure of 4,152, a situation the Unit described as still worrying but believed would have been swept under the carpet but for the introduction of the DODMAS.

DODMAS, launched by the United Nations Population Fund in 2016, is an electronic means of collecting, collating and disseminating information on sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) for onward and prompt action.

According to the unit, assault remained the highest case of violence recorded since the introduction of the e-platform and usually involved married couples (5,033), households (3,319), among others.

It mentioned other issues including non-maintenance (where a parent refuses to take responsibility for a child), threat of death/ harm, defilement, obscenity and unnatural carnal knowledge as accounting for significant numbers of SGBV cases in the country.

This came to light last Thursday during a media engagement by DOVVSU in collaboration with the UNFPA to assess the impact of the system in the area of data collection and management of domestic violence issues two years on.

Technical Consultant for the project, Mr. Senanu Agbozo said increased sensitisation of SGBV had encouraged more people to report cases of violence against them leading to arrest and prosecution.

He recounted the positive impact of the DODMAS system on improving collection, transmission and analysis of DOVVSU data to better protect victims and ensure justice was delivered.

Mr Agbozo, however, called for periodic update of the platform and expansion to reach more stations in the service to prevent lost of data and inaccuracies on the subject.

“Currently, we do not have the software at the community stations and even some districts and divisions so some cases have to be recorded manually to be transferred to the region before inputted unto the database,” he lamented.

The Consultant further called for support from the media and other stakeholders to properly manage data on victims of SGBV and help build national growth.

The National Coordinator of DOVVSU, Mrs Evelyn Borbor, lauded the initiative which she said had helped improve operations of her outfit particularly in enhancing data security and research in the last two years.

She reiterated the need for more logistical support to the unit to enable it operative much effectively urging the media to be circumspect in their reportage on SGBV issues.

Mr. Bawa Amadu, the UNFPA Assistant Representative stressed the negative consequences of SGBV on women and girls who often fell victim of such incidences and urged for collective efforts to minimise the canker to ensure sustainable development.

“For Ghana to churn out a well-structured, credible and easily accessible SGBV statistics that can be used for evidence based advocacy and interventions, we will all need to help DOVVSU by reporting cases in addition to raising awareness to control the menace,” he advised.

By Abigail Annoh


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