● Supt. Setina Aboagye speaking at the forum
Evidence is the necessary ingredient needed in prosecution to establish one’s guilt or otherwise at the law court.
To this end, the Western Regional Commander of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, Superintendent Setina Aboagye has asked people not to have their bath when they are raped or defiled but rather, they should rush to the police station to lodge complaint against the perpetrators of the crime for investigation to be conducted.
“We need evidence to be able to prove our cases in court. We have been telling victims of rape and defilement that when you are raped you are not supposed to have your bath because we are interested in the torn panties, the beads and whatever.
“These things serve as evidence and help us to build our cases and secure successful prosecution in court,” she stressed.
Supt. Aboagye said these during a media engagement organised by Twin Cities in Sustainable Partnership Project(TCSPP) as part of the campaign for youth-oriented and gender sensitive topics at Sekondi, in the Western Region.
She encouraged the media to educate the public on the importance of evidence and that without it, “there’s nothing we can do to push the case to court.”
Supt. Aboagyetold the journalists that another challenge with case prosecution was that, people reported cases and later came back to withdraw them “but some cases cannot be settled at home.”
She cautioned the public to desist from that because domestic violence cases were not to be settled at home and that offenders would be arrested.
A major challenge, she noted, was a situation “where a father who sleeps with a daughter or a step-father who impregnates a step-daughter is imprisoned; this eventually brings untold hardship to both the victim and her mother.”
The coordinator said, issues of domestic violence affected people’s emotions and that professionals would be needed to seek the victim’s consent before taking the case to court, especially when dealing with a case of spousal assault.
With such cases, she said, the victim would feel shy to stand in the open court to tell the whole world that her husband assaulted her.”
Supt. Aboagye told participants that the unit (DOVVSU) had done well in rescuing victims and cited a case at Sunyani where a girl was rescued and was now a graduate professional teacher.
DOVVSU, she indicated, had professionals, who also provided counselling for victims to access medical treatment.
“At DOVVSU, when victims come, we have to listen to them attentively and afterwards determine whether it is within our purview to handle such cases otherwise we refer such cases to the appropriate quarters for action to be taken,” she said.
From Clement Adzei Boye, Sekondi