In a significant move to contribute to reducing the high incidence of domestic violence in the country, the Vodafone Ghana Foundation (VGF), in collaboration with the Ark Foundation, has launched the first ever care line for the reporting of domestic violence in the country.
The 24-hour hotline - 5555 - would give victims of abuse and those who live in abusive situations the rare opportunity for first line response.
Victims would have access to trained professionals who would provide them with expert advice, counselling, police assistance, legal advice and a wide range of other interventions for women and children at risk of abuse.
The hotline 5555 is both an emergency and regular line with both text and voice function, and would be managed by professionals from the Ark Foundation, and funded by the Vodafone Ghana Foundation.
The domestic abuse care line would soon be linked to the Ghana Police Service hotline to further provide assistance in situations where police intervention is required.
Current statistics on domestic violence in Ghana indicate that one in every three women in Ghana has experienced abuse in one form or another.
According to the statistics, over 15,000 cases of offences against women and female children were reported last year across the country, up from the 2010 figure of 11,000.
Speaking at the event, the Head of Corporate Communications at Vodafone, Carmen Bruce-Annan, noted: "We are excited about bringing to life a dream which the Vodafone Foundation has been nurturing about a year ago, not because it's the foundation's initiative, but because of the role it will play in reducing the high incidence of domestic violence in the country."
She added: "You only have to place a call to report if you are being abused, or know someone who is being abused, and the experts will give you the assistance you need. The Foundation is particularly passionate making the lives of people better through empowerment, and this is just another way of demonstrating that. We exist to make a significant difference in our community, and this is what drives us on."
On her part, the Minister for Women and Children Affairs, Juliana Azumah Mensah, thanked Vodafone Ghana Foundation for the timely intervention.
She further called on women to take the advantage of this unique opportunity to report all forms of violence being meted out against them.