By Ike Uchechukwu
CALABAR—Cross River State Government, yesterday, inaugurated a centre that will help women and underage girls address all gender-based violence in the state.
At the inauguration of the centre sited at Cross River State Women Affairs, Calabar, wife of the state governor, Mrs. Linda Ayade, said with the inauguration of the centre, deviant behaviours such as wife battering, sexual molestation and a host of other gender-based violence would become a thing of the past.
Mrs. Ayade urged women residing in the state to report all gender-based violence to the centre so that drastic action can be taken against perpetrators of heinous crimes.
The governor’s wife while lamenting the high rate of young girls forcefully given out in marriage, stressed that one in three girls are given in marriage on daily basis.
Her words: “A time has come for us to say enough is enough. It is only when you raise alarm that your right has been taken, that such right will not be taken away from you and we promised to replicate the centers across the three senatorial districts of the state.
“I was unhappy initially because over time, women have undergone a lot of victimization and I charged those harassed to make visitation to the centre so that their problems can be addressed.
“I am very happy today, the first time we all gathered here, and discussed issues on gender violence, I was very agitated and unhappy, but today I am very happy and delighted. My heart is full with joy why because we are one step ahead of the problem.”