Safe home for gender-based violence victims

Mr Barnes, Australian High Commissioner, flanked by Ms. Agyepong (left) and Ms. Acquah ,  project officials

Mr Barnes, Australian High Commissioner, flanked by Ms. Agyepong (left) and Ms. Acquah , project officials

Work on a temporary safe house for survivors of gender based violence is to start next month in Accra.

 

Christened the “Pearl Safe Haven,” the project is being spearheaded by a non-governmental organisation bearing the same name, with the Australian High Commission as the lead sponsor.

 

The house would admit survivors of domestic violence, abuse, and rape between 18 years and 25 years under a three months recovery programme.

 

During the period, they would be given medical, psychological and legal counsel in addition to vocational training to prepare them for a successful reintegration into society.

 

They would be monitored and supported for three months after they exit the house to ensure they are truly out of danger.

 

At a press briefing in Accra yesterday, the leader of the project, Isobel Acquah said work on the house was expected to be completed in June, next year.

 

She said the house would admit 30 survivors every three months, who would be referred there by social service agencies such as the police, the Domestic Violence Victims’ Support Unit and the Department of Social Welfare.

 

The motivation for the project, Ms. Acquah said, was the inadequate shelter for the survivors in the country who were in dire need of such support.

 

She said the house was just one solution to the gender based violence problem and called on men, whom she said were the major perpetrators of the violence to get involved in the campaign to curb it.

 

Dreading the cost of domestic violence has a socio-economic to the country, AkosuaAgyepong, the project manager, said the project would be extended to other regions and age-groups later and called for support from both public and private sectors to save survivors and reduce the violence.

 

The Australian High Commissioner in Accra, Mr.  Andrew Barnes disclosed that his country was supporting the project with Ghc175,000 raised from a fundraising event.

 

Curbing gender-based violence, he said, was high on the agenda of his country for which reason the country was embarking on a 12-year programme to end the violence.

 

He lamented the practice, saying it was high time the mindset that men should be violence against women was changed.

 

His country, Mr. Barnes pointed out; he would continue to support programmes that aimed at ending such violence.

BY JONATHAN DONKOR

 

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