The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Plateau chapter, on Wednesday in Jos, organised a seminar to sensitise children aged between 10 and 15 on the dangers of rape.
Mrs Jenifer Yarima, the Chairperson of NAWOJ in the stated, said the seminar had become necessary due to the increase in number of rape cases involving minors in the country.
Yarima said at the seminar titled, “Rape: Endangering the Lives of Our Children,’’ that many girls had dropped out of school because of unplanned pregnancies resulting from rape.
She said that other victims of the crime were compelled to abort such pregnancies that threatened their lives.
“We want to educate children on the need to watch out for likely perpetrators of rape in schools and around their neighborhoods.
“We are worried that parents find it difficult to educate their children on sexuality to serve as a guide to healthy living; every child deserves to live a quality life,’’ she said.
In her remarks, Mrs Jummai Madaki, the Country Representative, Association for Life of Africa, advised children not to allow any ‘Uncle’ or ‘Auntie’ to touch their breasts or buttocks.
Madaki said that some biological parents raped their children and none of such people had been prosecuted.
She advised parents and guardians to always listen to their children, be familiar with their friends as well as where they go, and be sensitive to any change in their behaviour.
Mrs Felicia Yakzun, the Special Adviser to the Plateau Governor on Women Affairs, called on teachers to discharge their duties of moulding children’s character.
Yakzun expressed worries that some teachers had become threats to the lives the children entrusted to them, by raping such children.
She said that the Plateau government was committed to enacting laws that would eradicate violence and rape against children and women.
Also, Mrs Ladi Madaki, the Chairperson of the Observatory Steering Committee (OBSTEC), Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), said the organisation recorded 200 cases of such violence between January and now.
Madaki said the committee, which comprised over 30 state and non-state actors, reported, recorded, responded and documented VAWG incidents, in a bid to curb the menace.
The NAWOJ presented a symbolic whistle to the Plateau government, to be used in exposing rape just as other crimes are exposed through the whistle blowing policy of the present administration.