By Roberta Gayode Modin
Women are considered vulnerable and the most abused in men-dominated societies, especially in most African countries like Ghana. This assertion might not be far from the truth.
According to the Accra Regional Office of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit(DOVVSU), about 31% of women were victims of at least one form of domestic violence – physical, economic, psychological, social or sexual in 2020.
This makes violence against women and girls an important issue. However, over the years, research and policies have focused on women and girls, relegating men to the background.
Recent data has shown a rise in Domestic Violence against men and this calls for serious attention. Domestic violence against men is violence or other physical abuse towards men in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation.
Men are in some cases stereotyped when they are abused as opposed to women. They are tagged as ” Kojo besia” to wit man-woman for failure to exert their manly dominance as society expects of them.
A report by the Ghana Statistical Service shows that about 28% of Ghanaian males have experienced physical or emotional violence exerted by their wife or partner at some point during their lives.
Communications Manager at Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), Naa Atswei Nee – Okpey has made a clarion call on society to pay attention to men in the fight against domestic violence.
According to her, men should speak up when they suffer gender based violence, indicating that it is a crime to perpetuate and condone gender-based violence.
“Speaking up after suffering sexual and gender-based violence as a man does not in anyway make you less of a man”, she said.
She also called on society to create an environment that allows men to express their emotions.
“We should have a gender transformative approach kind of thinking, where men can see that if we’re able to speak against sexual and gender-based violence, we are building a Ghana where people will live in dignity and peace and go about their duties” she added.