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Chief Justice Opens More Gender-Based Courts

THE CHIEF Justice, Justice Anin Yeboah, continues to open more gender-based violence courts in the country to protect women and children against domestic violence.

He said he was worried that reported cases of domestic violence has started soaring despite a decline between 2019 and 2020 per data from the Domestic Violence and Victim Support (DOVVSU) unit of the Ghana Police Service.

The Chief Justice expressed the concern last Friday when he inaugurated three district children-friendly violence courts at Bibiani in Western North Region, Goaso in Ahafo Region and Techiman in Bono East Region.

He said, “Despite a decline in cases by DOVVSU between 2019 and 2020, the statistics are disturbingly still high. To give you some insight, in 2020 alone 5, 231 cases were recorded for assault, 1,047 cases for defilement and 1548 cases for non-maintenace and provision of basic life needs. This is just a tip of the iceberg and it is unacceptable.”

“We strongly continue to encourage a corporate effort against gender-based violence and admittedly the onus lies on every stakeholder institution to fight against it,” he added.

Justice Anin Yeboah said the reason for the establishment of gender-based courts in the district is to encourage more women and children to report domestic and sexual violence for redress.

“The rising rates of crime perpetrated against children over the last few years have certainly called for a review of our priorities. After all, the process by which a child is handled goes a long way to influence their psychological and emotional well-being.

“Our concept aims at providing a conducive atmosphere for the child who is in contact with the law either as a victim, a witness, or an offender to render accurate testimony without fear or intimidation,” he disclosed.

He called on traditional authorities and family heads to stop settling domestic violence cases at home and rather report to the police for action to be taken against recalcitrant parents or guardians who abuse, defile, and refuse to take care and provide basic needs for the family.

According to him, the new district juvenile courts are fitted with libraries, toys, modern equipment to facilitate translation and interpretation of local languages to speed up process of trial.

The Chief Justice thanked UNICEF and DANIDA for providing financial support to encourage the establishment of such courts.

A representative from UNICEF, Rafiq Khan encouraged women to report such cases to the police and court for action.

Paramount chief of Goaso Traditional Area, Nana Akwasi Bosmora lauded the Chief Justice for championing the cause to reduce and eliminate gender-based violence.

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