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50 investigators schooled on Sexual Gender Based Violence

Fifty investigators of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU), of the Ghana Police Service (GPS) are undergoing a three-week training course to upgrade their knowledge on Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV), in Accra.

The participants, 40 females and 10 males, who were drawn from Accra and Tema regions, would be trained to assist victims of domestic violence and facilitate justice delivery.

The programme, which is under the auspices of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the GPS was funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The Director-General of the CID, Commissioner of Police (COP) Isaac Ken Yeboah,  who opened the workshop,  stressed the need to address domestic violence issues, adding that there was evidence that violent crime had a direct link to domestic violence.

He advised the media not to sensationalise domestic violence cases, stating that such practice affected the wellbeing of victims.

COP Yeboah urged the investigators to show commitment to their work to be able to deal effectively with domestic violence.

 He commended the UNFPA for supporting the police in the discharge of their duties over the years, particularly in tackling domestic violence Issues.

 The Director of DOVVSU, Chief Superintendent of Police (Chief Supt) Owusuwaa Kyeremeh, said the fight against  SGBV was  critical to national development.

She said SGBV had negative effects on  survivors  emotionally, physically, psychologically, and also their financial, health and their economic situations.

‘’Currently, there has been an increase in Domestic Violence (DV) cases in most countries across the world due to the COVID-19. So far, Ghana has not recorded any increase in domestic violence cases during COVID-19 restriction because the UNFPA, DOVVSU and other relevant stakeholders have carried out campaigns against the practice, ” Chief Supt Kyeremeh said.

She said by the end of the year, 250 DOVVSU investigators would be trained.

The Deputy Country Representative of UNFPA, Dr Agnes Ntibanyuriwa, said the objective of prosecution was to protect victims while holding perpetrators accountable.

She said prosecuting gender-based violence cases could be challenging due to private nature of the violence.

Dr Ntibanyuriwa also said police investigations might be substandard and victims might be uncooperative and withdraw their complaint.

She stated that prosecution of SGBV involved skills set for effective justice delivery to the victims, adding that the training would build the capacity of DOVVSU investigators on DV cases for quality investigations and prosecutions.

The Commandant of the Detective Training School, Superintendent of Police (Supt) Grace Ansah-Akrofi,  said the training would equip the participants in the discharge of their duties.

She said most people who came to the DOVVSU were traumatised and needed professionals to handle them. 

Supt Akrofi urged the participants to take the course seriously and abide by the COVID-19 safety protocol during their training.

Topics to be discussed, included labelling of SGBV exhibits, SGBV statement analysis, how to conduct interview for SGBV victims, and interrogation techniques.

BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI

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