THE ESTABLISHMENT OF WAJU NOW DOVVSU
The Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU), formerly Women and Juvenile Unit (WAJU) was established by the Police Administration in 1998 in response to the increasing number of Abuse and Violence Against Women and Children. The purpose for setting up DOVVSU was also to create a platform where women and children could have their problems properly addressed. This became necessary because most cases on violence against women and children were treated as mere family issues which were to be settled at home.
Due to the specialist nature of the work of DOVVSU, the Unit does not operate as a regular Police station. DOVVSU has provided office accommodation in Accra, to the Women’s Initiative for Self Empowerment (WISE), an NGO that supports the Unit with counselors from the University of Ghana. DOVVSU also works hand in hand with the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), the Department of Social Welfare (DSW), Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Legal Aid Board, Family Tribunal Courts, NGOs and the Civil Society. These institutions provide Counseling and legal Aid to both victims and perpetrators.
The Accra DOVVSU started as a pilot scheme with eight dedicated policemen and women drawn from various police departments in Accra. The first commander of the Unit was Deputy Commissioner of Police Mrs. Gifty Anin Botwe (Now Commissioner of Police), whose able leadership has brought the Unit this far. In 1999, a branch was opened in Kumasi. In terms of decentralization, currently DOVVSU operates in all the eleven Police regions of this country and has fifty-two offices and desks nationwide.
WHY THE CHANGE OF NAME?
- To ensure all vulnerable persons are catered for regardless of gender, as the name WAJU was gender bias
- The need to provide access to services of the Unit to all victims of abuse.
- To highlight and strengthen the victim support system
WAJU/DOVVSU LEADERSHIPS SINCE IT’S ESTABLISHMENT
DCOP GIFTY ANIN-BOTWE 26TH OCTOBER 1998 – 2001
C/SUPT. ESTHER APPIAH 14TH AUGUST 2001 – 2004
DSP SOPHIA TORPEY 14TH JUNE 2004-
SUPT. ELIZABETH DASSAH 13TH AUGUST 2004 – 2005
C/SUPT BEATRICE VIB-SANZIRI - 30th MAY 2005 – 30th JUNE 2006
ACP BEATRICE VIB-SANZIRI - 1st JULY 2006 – TO DATE