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General News of Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Source: GNA

Shelter for Domestic Violence survivors to be ready by close of year

A Shelter for Domestic Violence Survivors, currently under renovation, will be ready by the close of the year, Madam Malonin Asibi, Director of Domestic Violence Secretariat, has said.

Madam Asibi noted that it would be best to get such facility for children too in the country.

Currently, the Osu Children’s Home is the public shelter for abused children with some non-governmental organisations accepting children who have been affected by Domestic Violence.

Madam Asibi was speaking at a sensitisation programme on Legislative Instrument (LI) 2237 of the Domestic Violence Act, Act 732 (2007).

The programme brought together 90 participants from the Ghana Health Service, Ghana Education Service, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Department of Social Welfare, the Judiciary, the media and security agencies.

Madam Asibi noted that section 41 of the Domestic Violence (DV) Act mandates the Minister responsible for Justice, on the advice of the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, to prepare regulations to implement the DV Act.

She said that had taken too long, leaving a gap between the passage of the Act and the coming into force of its regulations.

“This also affected the implementation of the Act until 2016 when the regulations finally came into force,” Madam Asibi added.

Madam Asibi said the DV Act, 732 and its corresponding LI 2237 (2016) provided framework within which survivors of domestic violence could access justice and support.

However, she said, that had not been the situation on the ground adding that “knowledge on this framework has been very limited even to majority of essential service providers and other relevant bodies.”

“This has happened because getting the LI printed and disseminated has been a great challenge.”

Madam Asibi commended the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for providing funds to print 720 copies of the LI as well as for sensitization programmes.

She said in 2019, 60 selected service providers from Eastern Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Greater Accra were sensitised.

Additionally the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is strategising to engage with relevant sectors including health, the police and National Health Insurance Authority to discuss and solicit support for the implementation of LI.

Participants at the programme would delve into matters relating to medical forms of victims, creation of more office space for Social Welfare officers as well as strengthening the Department to address emerging issues including the provision of emergency shelter for children.

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