‘Domestic violence affects qualitative lives of victims’

Domestic violence adversely affects the qualitative lives of victims daily in terms of the victims’ ability to work, school or engage in domestic work, concentrate on daily activities and diminishes one’s confidence.

According to statistics from the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Ghana Police Service, in 2016, 10,460 women were abused as against 1,830 men.

Again in 2017, she said, 12,103 women were abused as against 2,599 men.

A study by the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) has established that households in Ghana spend $19 million as economic cost of violence against women and girls annually.

The study, which highlights the social and economic cost of violence against women and girls, indicated that $246 million is lost annually in income for women due to missed days of work as a result of violence perpetrated against them.

It showed that women who survived violence, accessed services and reported such cases, incurred a cost of $53 annually on the average, an equivalent to 10 per cent of their annual per capita expenditure.

Cost of violence

The research was undertaken by the ISSER, in collaboration with the University of Ireland, Galway, Ipsos MORI and funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), as part of its ‘What Works to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls’ programme.

The research underscored the need to understand the economic impacts of violence against women and its serious consequences for the wider economy.

A ceremony to launch and disseminate the key findings of the report was held in Accra last Wednesday.

Making a presentation on the key findings of the research, the Director ISSER, Prof. Felix Asante, said families were burdened by the direct cost from violence against women and girls, while survivors may lose their positions in society and their work compromised.

He said Ghanaian women and children who suffered abuse and had to access services and report such cases, spent $53 annually on the average, while the national estimated cost of accessing services was about $19 million.

Prof. Asante said children were also deeply affected by violence against their mothers, including missing school as a result, which implied reduced capabilities in the long term, as well as the potential for families to lose the return on their investment in children’s education.

Recommendations

On the recommendations, Dr Nata Duvvury of the University of Ireland, said the result of the study highlighted the urgent need for comprehensive prevention efforts by a wide range of actors from local authorities and community leaders to business leaders and national government.

She advocated revisions of regulations to address the additional burden that violence placed on women.

She further called for the strengthening of existing support services and challenged the norms that limited women’s help-seeking behaviour after experiences of violence by partners and others.

“There is the need to scale up current efforts to prevent violence against women and girls including mainstreaming evidence-based violence prevention approaches into education, health and social protection and other sectors,” she stated.

The Executive Director of the Domestic Violence Secretariat of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ms Malonin Asibi, said: “It is important to have good social interventions in place but if we fail to tackle abuses that affect women and girls, they will be left out.”

Source: Graphic Online