Rape cases are on the increase in the Northern Region as Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit of the Ghana Police Service (DOVVSU) recorded 19 such cases by October 2017 as against 18 cases recorded in 2016.
As at October 2017, DOVVSU also recorded 22 cases of defilement compared to 24 such cases recorded in 2016 in the region.
Despite increased awareness to stop the practice, forced marriages persists in the region as two cases were recorded by October 2017 as against three cases recorded in 2016.
Mr Inusah Iddrisu, Senior Public Education Officer/Investigator at the Northern Region office of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, presented the figures at a community durbar in Tamale to mark the end of celebration of 16 -day Activism against Gender-based Violence in the region.
The community durbar was organized by the Northern Regional Department of Gender under the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in collaboration with EQWiP HUBS with sponsorship from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The 16- Days Activism against Gender-based Violence (November 25 to December 10) is an international campaign originating from the first global women’s leadership instituted in 1999 and it is an instrument used by all well-meaning people to fight against atrocities meted out to women.
Mr Iddrisu said the figures show that there was the need for an increased awareness to reduce, if not eradicate, gender-based violence to guarantee human rights for all.
He said there is the need for traditional authorities, assembly persons and unit committee members to assist victims of gender-based violence to seek justice as well as liaise with security services to deal with sexual and gender-based violence in the country.
Madam Bushira Alhassan, Acting Northern Regional Director of the Department of Gender, said since 2015, reported cases of assault, rape and defilement had been on the increase in the region.
She said “violence against women and girls is a human right issue. It discriminates, humiliates and robs women and girls of their rights and dignity. It is a silent killer as most women often will not talk about it for fear of being victimized or for fear of losing their marriages and livelihoods.”