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General News of Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Dunkwa community leaders educated on Domestic Violence Act

The Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) has asked Ghanaians not to circulate nude pictures as blackmailing tools.

The Central Regional Coordinator of the DOVVSU, Superintendent George Appiah-Sakyi, said the circulation of nude pictures was an offense punishable by law.

He was speaking at a workshop for about 30 people, including traditional rulers, religious leaders and opinion leaders in the Dunkwa municipality in the Central Region last Wednesday.

Workshop

The workshop, which was funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), with support from the Central Regional Coordinating Council, was to educate community leaders on the Domestic Violence Act and how to deal with issues of domestic violence in the communities.

Mr. Appiah-Sakyi observed that increasing the publication of such pictures had become a blackmailing tool used to hurt others, particularly on social media.

He stressed that this caused emotional trauma and harm to the victims and further affected their social well-being.

Domestic violence

Mr. Appiah-Sakyi noted that under the Domestic Violence Act, actions that resulted in physical, sexual, emotional and economic abuse were punishable by law.

Other acts of harassment that were likely to deprive one of his integrity or self-worth were also deemed punishable under the act, he explained. He stressed that insulting, stalking, coming home late and being moody were all forms of domestic violence which created tension in the home and affected the psychological well-being of victims.

Sanctions

Mr. Appiah-Sakyi advised participants to educate the communities on the Domestic Violence Act as offenders may have up to two years custodian sentence or pay a fine, or both.

He further cautioned the participants against settling criminal offenses outside the courts.

The Dunkwa District Magistrate, Mr. Festus Nukunu, noted that acts of defilement and rape were rising.

He appealed to related agencies to help reduce any form of stigma that may be suffered by sexually abused victims to help them reintegrate into society.

A Senior Lecturer at the Department of Population and Health, Professor A.B Adu Gyamfi, called for the establishment of counseling centers to provide support for domestic violence victims.

The participants called for intensified education on the act to reduce domestic violence.A