Nigerians have been charged to consider Violence Against Women and Girls, VAWG as humanity’s problem rather than women’s problem only just as it is an epidemic that every individual must come together to address before it makes life unbearable for all.
The charge was given by women’s rights activists during the pre-commencement workshop of the Spotlight on Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls, a EU-UN project, being implemented by Project Alert.
During his presentation on Eliminating Violence Against Women & Girls – the Role of Women & Boys, Chukwunonso Ibegwam, Project Officer, African Center for Learning, Strategy and Development and Co-founder ATLAS Initiative explained that VAWG is a general problem and not women’s only.
He noted that, “Men and boys can engage in practical work to eliminate violence against women by speaking out publicly against violence against women; working on themselves to change their attitude and behavior and serve as mentor or good role model for others to emulate.”
Ibegwam urged men to join the campaign against Gender Based Violence because is a global and nationwide issue which needs to be addressed by all with the purpose of saving the future.
He iterated that, “the consequences are enormous like; STDs, Unwanted Pregnancy Trauma amongst others and there has to be a continuous reminder by boys to boys, men to men, women to women, girls to girls and vice versa.
“It is important to know that anyone could be a victim and it is imperative to save the future by ensuring that everyone joins the campaign to end violence.”
Reacting to the issue on mode of dressing as a reason for rape, executive Director, Project Alert, Josephine Effah-Chukwuma explained that if dressing were to be a reason for rape, there wouldn’t have been rising cases of paedophile in the country.
She warned that, “If there is anyone who is comfortable with the violation of women, you need to have a rethink because the table has turned and women are becoming violent.”
On her part, Itoro Eze-Anaba, Executive Director, Mirabel Sexual Assault Referral Centre, while giving the disaggregated data of sexual abuse cases Mirabel Centre has attended to, disclosed that children within ages 6-15 are mostly abused.
“As at November 2019, total no of clients are 5,100; Youngest client is 3 months, oldest client is 80 years old, Males attended to are 120 and Persons with Disabilities are 70”, she added.
With this, she said both genders are being abused just that women and children are mostly vulnerable.
Dr. Adebukola Adebayo, Lagos State Chairman of Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, JONAPWD commended Project Alert for engaging PWDs in the project which seeks to eliminate violence against women and girls just as women with disabilities are more vulnerable and found it difficult to get help.