You are here:AfriGAP » Resources » Service Users’ Perceptions of the Domestic Violence and Victims’ Support Unit, Ghana Police Service
Service Users’ Perceptions of the Domestic Violence and Victims’ Support Unit, Ghana Police Service
Voluntary Service Overseas
Studies in Ghana estimate that three out of five women suffer some form of domestic violence and one in three women have experienced some form of assault during their life.1 The family is the prime site of violence and abuse and the perpetrators primarily men known by the victim. The Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU), a special unit of Ghana Police service, has addressed issues related to domestic and gender based violence since 1998. During this time new legislation (2007) and policy (2008) has also been introduced in Ghana.
This study was conducted at the Kaneshie DOVVSU office in Greater Accra region. The service users that participate had all reported crimes of domestic and sexual violence to DOVVSU. Their experience and expectations of the service are at the centre of this study. Their perceptions provide a gauge of DOVVSU’s performance in a range of areas. An international human rights framework and set of indicators was used to steer and guide the research process (see Appendix 1). The key areas of the study are the quality of service delivery; access to justice in relation to reporting, case attrition and the barriers that service users’ experience; and thirdly outcomes.
The perceptions of service users help build up an overall assessment of the contribution DOVVSU makes. Within the framework of the national Domestic Violence policy in Ghana DOVVSU is a key agent and service provider.