The Central Regional Coordinator of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, Superintendent George Appiah-Sakyi, has asked police personnel not to trivialise domestic violence cases.
He observed that many police officers had failed to study and understand the Domestic Violence Act to appreciate the implications of domestic violence and the punishment associated with it.
"We know that some police officers send persons who report issues of domestic violence away and trivialise such cases as family matters," he said.
Superintendent Appiah-Sakyi was speaking at a workshop organised by the Central Regional DOVVSU for 40 police personnel from across the Central Region on the Domestic Violence Act and their role in reducing the incidence of domestic violence in the region.
It was supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Central Regional Coordinating Council.
Superintendent Appiah-Sakyi said domestic violence was no different from crimes such as theft and fraud, and must, therefore, be treated as such.
He said the training was to also increase the number of DOVVSU desks in the region to effectively deal with cases.
"As much as we want to protect families, we must understand that domestic violence is a crime punishable by law and for which one could be sentenced to a two-year jail term," he said and urged all personnel to be vigilant in protecting victims.
A Senior Lecturer at the Department of Population and Health at the University of Cape Coast, Dr Addai Boateng Adu Gyamfi, urged the police personnel to use the community information centres to educate the public on wrong and unlawful domestic behaviours.
The Central Regional UNFPA Focal Person, Mr David Allan Paintsil, noted that the region continued to record high numbers of cases of parental negligence and urged the police to support efforts to get parents to be responsible towards their children.
He further observed that many cases of teenage pregnancy and truancy were as a result of parents neglecting their children and stressed that all stakeholders, especially the police, were needed in efforts to get parents to cater for their families and children.