Child abuse is not just physical violence directed at a child. It is any form of maltreatment by an adult which is violent or threatening to the child. This includes neglect. When child abuse occurs in the home and the abuser is, for example, the child’s parent or caregiver, this is a form of domestic violence.
Selected market leaders, representatives of traditional authorities, and institutional heads have been trained as paralegals to help address domestic violence and issues of child abuse in the Bono East region.
The 24 participants at a two-day workshop were taken through the Children’s Act, Domestic Violence Act, and the provisions in the 1992 Constitution concerning spousal and human rights and the rights of children, among others, so they help and encourage victims to report domestic violence and cases of child abuse.
Since paralegal units have been established at the market centers to allow victims to report their cases for redress, it is believed that children’s rights will be protected.
Madam Malonin Asibi, the Head of Domestic Violence Secretariat at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, outdoors the group at Techiman, the Bono East Regional capital. She said the team’s inauguration would relieve victims, mostly market women and vulnerable children.
Domestic violence and child abuse is a global phenomenon
Madam Asibi said domestic violence and child abuse occurred everywhere across the globe, saying responsible state agencies and other stakeholders were, therefore, making efforts to reduce the frequency of occurrence and possibly end the menace in the communities.
She said the Ministry, in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), was working to strengthen stakeholders to try and eradicate the menace, which had denied many women and children the opportunity to develop their talents and potential and make an impact in the society.
Madam Asibi noted that many of those cases were unreported, and the need to institute strategic measures in creating an easy platform to allow for a free flow of such claims to be reported was paramount.
Report culprits of child abuse to face the law
Detective Inspector Sabina Quandzie of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) at the Techiman Divisional Police Headquarters expressed concern about the inability of victims to report cases to the Unit for redress, saying it was time to end the trend in society.
She cited cases such as rape, incest, defilement, spousal abuse, lousy parenting, indecent assault, and human trafficking, saying they were unlawful and must be reported for culprits to be punished to deter like-minded people from perpetrating them against unsuspecting victims.
Nana Konadu Yiadom, the Divisional Chief of Ayeasu in the Techiman Traditional Area, pledged the support of the traditional authority to end the menace in the communities.
Nana Yiadom said he would ensure that such cases were no longer handled out of court but through the law Court to end the practice.
Types of abuse include; physical, sexual, psychological, verbal, emotional and mental, financial, and spiritual.