A gender-based NGO is pushing for the enactment of laws to punish spouses who deliberately starve their partners of sex.
This is Ufeministi’s new perspective to dealing with domestic violence in marriages by criminalising sex deprivation.
According to the group, sex deprivation is a major source of abuse in many homes and that was one of the highlights of a report on the gaps in the laws on gender-based violence.
President of the Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSAG), Alex Nartey presented details of the report, Tuesday.
“If a wife or a husband without any reason withholds sex from the partner, then that should constitute an offence because it has various implications,” he said.
Last month, the Central Regional Coordinator of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU), George Appiah-Sakyi, advised married men who are being denied sex by their wives to report them to the police.
He explained that “denying your spouse sex amounted to emotional abuse”.
“If your wife wears jeans to sleep and causing you emotional abuse, its an offence and you can report her to DOVVSU,” he stated.
For the women, he said, “if your husbands refuse to eat your food and make you unhappy and cause you emotional pain, you can also report them to the police”.
“If your husband comes home late and causes you to be unhappy you can make a case at DOVSSU,” he said.
This is not far from JUSAG president’s advise to spouses.
“You cannot and should not unduly withhold sex from your partner when that can warrant a lot of violence,” Mr Nartey said.
But this position is being challenged by Regional Coordinator of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Volta and Oti region, Mercy Wilson Brown.
She says criminalizing sex deprivation would not be the way to go.