DOVVSU urges religious organizations to institute functioning Counselling Units
The Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) has called on religious organisations to institute Functioning Counselling units manned by professionals to deal with the psychological, physical, emotional and social needs of members in difficult times.

Date Created : 5/12/2023 12:00:00 AM : Story Author : Isaac Arkoh/

The DOVVSU observed that many faith-based organisations have some kind of counselling services, yet they lacked professionally trained counsellors and logistics to make a profound impact in case of death, divorce, natural disasters, stress, and other socio-economic difficulties.

Chief Superintendent George Appiah-Sakyi, the Central Regional Coordinator of DOVVSU of the Ghana Police Service, made the appeal at a Gender-Based and Domestic Violence (GBDV) sensitisation forum for St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church Women’s Fellowship in Cape Coast.

Taking participants through the complexities of home-related abuses and reporting procedures, he said religious counselling was important as it focused on the mind, body, and spirit of the individual.

But for faith-based principles of forgiveness, patience, tolerance, kindness and peaceful co-existence, he said many troubled people would have remained a pale shadow of themselves and never regained self-confidence.

He stated that as much as people would want to protect their families, it must be understood that domestic violence was a crime punishable by law and for which one could be sentenced to a jail term if found culpable.

The religious community must rise to its religious responsibility and stimulate the desired motivational spirit of renewal and transformation towards effective nation building.

The growth of the faith-based organizations should be measured not only in the number of its followers, but also in the quality of its members who were dedicated to upholding the spiritual virtue of Jesus Christ and personal development, Chief Supt Appiah-Sakyi noted.

He said to help build a progressive and prosperous Ghana, religious growth must strongly anchor on the love for God and humanity.

“The religious community must create the right environment to empower start-ups to deal with the growing youth unemployment and develop a culture of networking.

He said leveraging the competencies of their networks would help them to scale up and position their businesses to grow while dealing with emerging crisis.

On domestic violence, Chief Supt Appiah-Sakyi cautioned that husbands who intentionally cause their wives pain by refusing to eat their food risk a two-year jail or a fine of GH¢6,000 as that constituted emotional abuse.

“If your husband refuses to eat your food and that makes you unhappy and causes you emotional pain, you can report them to the police. If your husband comes home late and causes you to be unhappy, you can make a case at DOVVSU,” he said

He warned husbands against molesting their wives in any way, even if they were being insulted, saying they should rather report their wives to the police.

He said refusal of sex was punishable under Ghanaian law, and wives should be reported if they denied their legal partners’ sex.

Chief Supt Appiah-Sakyi advised parents to report all cases related to child abuse, especially involving the girl-child, to DOVVSU and cautioned them to desist from attempting to settle defilement cases at home.

He identified other cases of domestic violence to include physical, psychological and verbal abuses, assaults, forced marriages, threats, rape, incest, sexual harassment and sodomy among others.

Madam Leticia Grant, President of St Paul's Presby Women’s’ Fellowship, urged all women to resist domestic violence and seek appropriate redress to reduce the spate of homicide issues across the country.