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General News of Tuesday, 27 August 2019


Low prosecutions in domestic violence cases due to insufficient evidence – DOVVSU Prosecutor

A prosecutor with the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit, Inspector Ohene Asiedu says the inability of victims of domestic violence to protect useful evidence is a key factor hampering the rate in successfully prosecution of cases his outfit handles.

Speaking during a discussion centred on combating domestic violence in Accra, Inspector Asiedu said various factors account for the very low success rates in the country presently.

According to the Inspector, making a case for prosecuting domestic violence cases rely heavily on the availability of evidence. He said victims of domestic violence mostly turn-up to their outfit with vital evidence either destroyed or tampered with.

“Most of the time people are not able to protect the evidence and we work according to the law. If you want to prosecute you need more evidence to back up your case, most people come and they don’t have evidence, sometimes they don’t report cases early. With domestic violence cases like rape and others you need to protect the evidence, so when they come some months or weeks later and the evidence is destroyed it makes it very difficult to prosecute.”

He added that culture in a lot of ways is also hampering the fight against domestic violence in the country. He said this is because cultures practiced in the country see acts that in other settings would be seen as domestic violence differently.

“When you go to Europe and other places where people talk to the elderly and watch their face, even when you talk to somebody and you are looking elsewhere they suspect you to be a bad person. Here in our country you don’t talk to the elderly and watch the face they will tell you, you are bad. So such traditions I think we need to amend things, so that we can help issues.” He said

He mentioned that, such practices affect the identification of the perpetrators of crime.

“Most of the time, you see that a crime has been committed and people are not being able to identify the person because they don’t watch.”

Inspector Asiedu said regardless of those factors, the police are doing their best to help in the fight against domestic violence.

“As am talking now my people are now in Abossey Okai with UNFPA, trying to sensitise the woman and local leaders in the community so that they will prevent early marriage and other things. That is our part that we are doing.”

He therefore urged all other stakeholders to also play their roles effectively to help combat domestic violence in the country.

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