The Human Rights and Governance Centre (HRG Centre) has called on the government to allocate and disburse funds into the Victims of Domestic Violence Support Fund (DV Fund).
The Fund was created in line with the Domestic Violence Act 2007 (Act 732), following several years of civil society advocacy.
Despite applauding the commitment of the current government towards ensuring protection of children and women survivors of sexual and domestic violence as evident in the allocation of about GH¢1.5 million to the DV Fund in 2021 by the Ministry of Finance, the Centre, however, expressed worry that the amount allocated was never made available for utilization by the Secretariat and the DV Management Board established to apply the fund.
“Further, citizens, particularly, our rural folks are not fully aware of the processes involved in accessing the fund,” it said in a statement issued by head Martin Kpebu.
It cited how a recent alleged case of sodomy involving a teacher and 19 pupils in the East Gonja District saw parents of the victims lament over lack of funds.
That became the reason for not securing medical reports which form the basis for successful prosecution of sexual and domestic violence cases in Ghana.
It took the Salaga South Member of Parliament, for instance, to pledge to bear the medical examination costs for the victims while the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection remained silent on any financial support.
For this and other reasons, the Centre said ahead of the 2022 budget presentation, it wishes to remind government that “domestic and sexual violence against women and girls have reached alarming levels, and the high cost of accessing medical care is a key challenge to justice for most victims”.
“It is, therefore, very important for government to allocate and release money into the DV Fund to provide relief for poor victims and their families.”