Stakeholders have called for more accountability on policies implementation on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) cases in Nigeria in an annual walk to mark the beginning of 16 days of activism for the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls organised by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) SGBV Response Team.
The walk which began at the Cyprian Ekewensi Center For Arts and Culture, Abuja and ended at the Unity fountain, maitama Abuja was fully attended by the Director General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Dr Fatima Waziri – Azi, Members of the FCT SGBV Response Team, Civil Society Organisations, (CSOs) SGBV Survivors, Persons with Disabilities and the general public.
16 Days of activism is marked every year from the 25th of November to December 10 and 2021 marks the 30th anniversary of the Global 16 Days Campaign.
The Director Youth Development Department FCT, Ambassador Asabe Umar, said the event was necessary because raising awareness on the plight of victims of gender and sexual violence is key in eliminating the menace. She said with these activities the awareness keeps increasing every year.
She stated that no country can progress if women who are the bedrock of families are left to suffer sexual and gender-based violence without any form of intervention.
The Desk Officer, FCT SGBV Response Team, Mrs. Jacinta Ngozi Ike, said the walk was organised to make victims and residents of the FCT aware that the response team is available to assist them. She also disclosed that the response team has a fully functional hotline for victims of SGBV in the FCT to report their cases and get help. The hotline is 08078111126.
Also speaking at the event, the Secretary FCT SGBV Response Team, Chinwe Onyeukwu, the Executive Director, Women Africa, appealed to victims of gender-based violence to break the silence and report cases of violations to the relevant government agencies. She also said that the FCT referral centre in Bwari General Hospital provides medical services, forensic examination and counselling for victims of gender and sexual-based violence in the FCT.
A teenage survivor of sexual and gender-based violence, Chiamaka Mitchell Clement lamented that despite events such as the 16 days of activism by government agencies, it seem like the government has not paid enough attention to girls who have been raped and even have babies as a result of the rape. And she prays the government will begin to pay attention to girls in Nigeria.
Dorothy Njemanze, a Gender Rights Activist, called for more accountability on the implementation of policies that have been made already to help end SGBV in Nigeria. She also emphasized the need to enable a system where victims can obtain a restraining order online within the first 48 hours of the reporting the offence, free of charge.
Other stakeholders have called on the government and the agencies saddled with the responsibility of handling cases of SGBV to put the interest of the victims first.
Story: Ehizogie Ohiani, Ihuoma Ukeje
Pictures: FCT SGBV Response Team
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