I had always thought that reading widely was not only refreshing for the brain but also a knowledge builder and another way to learn about and from our world. 

That has led me to read practically everything I come across whether in print, from the internet, social media, the Bible and many other literature.

However, reading a story on the front page of the July 20, 2019 issue of The Mirror newspaper entitled: “Report jeans-wearing wives to police,” left me in consternation, wondering what lessons readers like me were taking from that story. 

 As I began to process the headline and the story, I asked the question, “But where are the marriage counsellors?”

The details of the story is that during a meeting with leaders of churches in the Cape Coast metropolis on terrorism and other security issues, a regional coordinator of the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Police Service advised married men who were being deprived of sex by their jeans-wearing wives to report those wives to the police. 

He continued, “If your wife wears jeans to sleep and is causing you emotional abuse, it is an offence.” He explained that emotional abuses were also offences punishable under the Domestic Violence Act 732 of 2007, saying anyone found guilty of that and other offences might be sentenced to a maximum of two years imprisonment or a fine of 500 penalty units.

Momentary reprieve

The advice may be a momentary reprieve for long-suffering husbands who may have been victims of depravity by their wives but really, why would a husband want to make capital out of such conduct in bed by his wife? 

 Is DOVVSU serious about husbands reporting their wives to the police for wearing jeans in bed?  

Is that a matter that our police want to spend time and resources chasing for prosecution in view of the myriad of problems confronting them, especially in recent times with red alert on terrorism attacks and security of institutions and individuals?

We still are screaming for our three kidnapped Takoradi girls to be brought back nearly a year after the first girl was lured away. 

 Even though the police have had the primary suspect in custody for months, there has been no news in sight and families continue to agonise over their missing relatives. 

 We have waited months on end, eager to hear about the killers of investigative journalist  Ahmed Suale, shot in cold blood a few metres away from his home.  

Despite information from witnesses who have recounted the moments before the killing, we are still in the dark as to where the police are with arresting the perpetrators.

Overwhelmed police

Have the police finished with flushing out lawless commercial motorbike riders, also known as “Okada”, from our roads even though their operation is unlawful?  

How are the police policing assembly bye-laws on noise pollution?  

Drinking spots have taken over pedestrian walkways and pavements, blasting music through deafening loud speakers, yet the police walk by unconcerned.  

The last we heard, our prisons were seriously congested for comfort with prisoners packed like sardines in a can and living under insanitary conditions detrimental to thier health. 

 We do not, therefore, need DOVVSU to convict and add to the overcrowding in the prisons because of spousal disputes that could be dealt with by marriage counsellors.

Come to think of it, even with DOVVSU itself, how effective have they dealt with those numerous cases of child abuse, spousal violence, child trafficking, etc., all of which are punishable offences under the Domestic Violence Act?  

Leadership communication is very crucial in building consensus and shepherding the communities they supervise or lead.  

As such, public utterances that add very little to peace and stability and create disunity, particularly within families and between husband and wife, must be guarded.  

Utterances that do not give guidance and correct malpractices in an atmosphere of calm and serenity may send out the wrong signals and cause damage with serious repercussions.  

There are too many broken marriages producing wayward street children.  

We need to encourage marriages to work by proffering solutions not dissolutions.
 
If indeed couples are consistently experiencing serious issues in their marriages, why can they not be referred to marriage counsellors or pastors who are trained to deal with such dissentions rather than seeking legal redress.  

Washing one’s dirty linen in public is of no necessity here.  

The ridicule, the embarrassment and eventually the disgrace would have been avoided if peaceful means are applied to issues of domestic nature and which are within amicable solution.