UNFPA Ghana and its partners, the Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) as well as the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit of the Ghana Police Service, launched a new Domestic Violence Support Centre in Accra. The new centre, called the Orange Support Centre, will provide holistic assistance to victims and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. The centre was jointly launched with a complimentary Boame mobile app.

The Orange Support Centre is the first of kind in Ghana and will offer psychosocial support, counseling and legal assistance services and also referral to shelters.

The Country Representative for UNFPA in Ghana Mr. Niyi Ojuolape said the Orange Support Centre would operate operate a walk-in service and a call centre that will enable victims get appropriate assistance in the most confidential manner. Mr. Ojuolape said the goal was to beat all forms of domestic abuse and transition victims to survivors.

The Orange Support Centre can be reached on toll-free number 0800111222 or through the Boame mobile app.

The Director for UN Systems at Ghana’s Ministry of Finance Mrs. Gladys Osabutey said the centre and the mobile app constitute critical steps towards eliminating all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls in Ghana. Mrs. Osabutey described the current state of sexual and gender-based violence as bleak, but not beyond salvation.

The Director of Research at Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) Mrs. Efua Ayanful remarked that violence against women and children remained a major challenge to the development of women, girls and children in Ghana, and had negative implications for Ghana’s economic, health and education agenda. She explained that while men suffered domestic violence and abuse, available data showed that women, girls and children were the worse victims.

The following are some numbers provided by Mrs. Ayanful in her remarks:

  • In 2017, reported defilement cases were 703, out of which 311 of were rape cases; the number of assault cases was the highest, 5,019.
  • Defilement and rape cases reported in 2018 were 634 and 211 respectively. Assault cases were 2,856.
  • In 2019, defilement and rape cases rose to 1,285 and 376 respectively. The number of assault cases almost doubled to 5,333.

Official statistics for 2020 were not yet published, but was likely to show increases due to the COVID-19 situation and its resultant closure of schools and businesses that saw many people staying at home and within likely reach of potential abusers.