Ghana needs victim support law – Oye Lithur

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The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has indicated

that the time has come for Ghana to pass a victim support law to

assist children whose rights are abused.

The sector Minister, Nana Oye Lithur, acknowledged that victim support

is very critical therefore urgent steps will be taken to put in place

"either a policy or legal framework on victim support."

In Ghana, it is estimated that out of the about 80% of the

gender-based violence cases which are reported, only 20% receive

psychosocial counselling or support of some sort.

The Minister noted that although the Domestic Violence and Victim

Support Unit (DOVVSU) which is a department within the Ghana Police

Service deals with human right abuses towards women and children and

also work with other organizations to offer assistance and specialized

help to victims, their operations need a further boost.

Speaking at a media reporters' workshop on 'Eliminating Child Marriage

in Ghana', Oye Lithur said her outfit is looking to engage more

proactively with the health sector to urge them to draw guidelines and

protocols to scale up health support for victims.

She commended the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital for taking the lead by

establishing the child assault centre.

"So the process has started but we still need a policy and legal

framework to cater for victim support," she said.

Out of court defilement and rape cases unlawful

The Gender Minister charged the general public to report any Judge who

facilities an out of court settlement of defilement and rape cases to

the Judicial Complainant Unit.

She argued that "an out of court settlement is unlawful. You can't

settle cases or crime so if there is any judge who is doing that, it

is unlawful."

"What is legally permissible is that in domestic violence cases, the

Domestic Violence Act allows for a judge to offer or get the parties

to go for mediation but for rape and defilement are not even part of

the Domestic Violence Act. They are offences under the Criminal

Offences Act and we have the criminal procedure code and it's very

clear," she explained.

Mrs Lithur stressed that no judge has the power or legal authority to

order an out of court settlement.

Credit: Citifmonline.com

Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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