Treatment of Defilement cases in Ghana 2014-2016

Whenever there is news of a crime that has been committed anywhere in the country, calls for justice for the victim is one of the most common reactions the news evokes. Justice served comforts the victim by assuring him/her the law is on the side of those who have suffered injustice and not against them. Justice doesn’t wipe out the harm that has been done by the culprit but serves as a deterrent to others who might be tempted to commit the same crime. Per this analogy, we can conclude that the severity of the punishment meted out to criminals makes it less likely for others to commit the same crime. There is a strong relationship between treatment of cases and the prevalence of a particular crime.


Naturally, people would like to see the bad guys locked away or punished in some other way as soon as possible. However, it is said that ‘the wheels of justice grind slowly’ therefore some cases may stay in court longer than others do. Some cases may not end up in court at all. Other cases may even turn out to be false. All we need is a justice system that is transparent and trustworthy to ensure victims that no matter how long it takes for judgment to be passed, in the end, justice shall prevail.


According to the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) reports, from 2014 – 2015, the unit recorded 3220 defilement cases. The figure is very alarming and indicates that the situation requires immediate attention and stringent measures put in place to cause the figures to fall in subsequent years. However, in this write-up, our focus is on the way cases were treated after they were reported. Analysis of the figure indicates that only 6.42% of the cases ended with culprits being convicted. We cannot put a finger on the likely reasons for this, however a look at the data indicates that a huge percentage of the cases (64.3%) were still under investigation as at the time the reports were compiled. 28.5% of the cases also awaiting trial.


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