The Deputy Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mrs Gifty Twum Ampofo, has indicated that the shelter to house victims of domestic violence would be completed soon and made accessible to victims.
She said government had given a new office building, as well as GH¢10 million, to that effect.
She made the statement at a roundtable discussion organised by the Centre for Democratic Development-Ghana (CDD-Ghana) and The Ark Foundation to mark the World Day of Social Justice in Accra.
It was on the theme: “Full Implementation and Compliance of Domestic Violence Act (Act 732): Government, Parliament and Judiciary Responsibilities”.
The Act, which was passed in 2007, was to institute criminal sanctions for perpetrators of Domestic Violence (DV) and offer remedies for victims as well as improve Ghana’s compliance with its international human rights obligations.
The Domestic Violence Secretariat, the Management Board, as well as the Domestic Violence Fund, were launched to ensure government’s compliance to the Act.
“Ideally, our mandate as a social protection organisation is to protect victims of domestic violence by providing shelter and other interventions such as skill training where necessary and reintegration where possible,” she said.
Mrs Twum-Ampofo said the ministry had done a number of education and stakeholder meetings, among other sensitisation programmes, but DV still persisted and expressed surprise at how the DV Act had been implemented.
She, therefore, appealed to all to get on board the fight against domestic violence since it did not know the rich or poor, gender, colour, creed or one’s status in society but cut across all cultures and affected all people.
Mrs Twum-Ampofo thanked development partners, especially the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands, for supporting the DV Secretariat over the years and called on them to help make it operational.
The Australian High Commissioner, Mr Andrews Barnes, commended CDD-Ghana and The Ark Foundation for putting together the programme.
He said the DV Act needed political pressure and will to implement, adding that his country also had cases of Domestic Violence.
The High Commission, he said, had committed funds to help construct a safe haven for DV victims in Ghana.
The Executive Director of CDD-Ghana, Professor Kwasi Prempeh, said there should be enough awareness of the Act, among other things, for its full realisation.
The Executive Director of The Ark Foundation, Dr Angela Dwanema-Aboagye, said the public needed to know the report on the DV Fund, where it could be accessed and direct donors to where to give their donations.
Superintendent Adolphine Dzansi, who is in charge of Prosecutions at the Domestic Violence and Victim’s Support Unit of the Ghana Police Service, appealed to the government to make available more clinical psychologists for domestic violence victims as the unit had only one for the whole country.